Friday, August 03, 2007

Hot news from the WTO...hello?...anybody there?...

I know you have all been waiting breathlessly for the action-packed thrill-a-minute reports from the Doha-ha-ha Round of Eternal Bickering. But I actually think those paid-by-the-hour negotiators have budged slightly forward.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks (besides us, of course) has been the unyielding position on ag subsidies by India and Brazil. To my surprise at least, Indian officials are using a figure for US reductions that is within reason compared to current US proposals.
India can accept the recent WTO draft on agriculture as a basis for further talks in the Doha Round, but proposals on industrial goods were "fundamentally flawed and essentially biased", a senior government official said Thursday.
The WTO mediators also proposed that US farm subsidies be capped at $16.4 billion, compared to the $17 billion Washington has offered. The EU would have to cut its farm import tariffs by about 64 per cent. [More]

India has been extremely protective of her ag sector, but perhaps growing pressure from 1) the exploding economic clout of Indian high tech and service industry and 2) concerns that trade gridlock could spill over into tougher immigration for Indian immigrants to America has pushed Indian politicos to more ag flexibility.


Brian said...

Well that explains it! Americans have sold out this country to foreign profiteers for the high bid.
They own our money management organizations, our health management organizations, they subsidize our Farm Bill, our Government, they take our products to their countries, mass manufacture them with slave labor and sell them back to us at a price we can afford with each pay check.

John Phipps said...


I don't think the situation is quite that drastic, but we have failed to anticipate the possibility of the markets cycling in the other direction. There will be some hard adjustments, but it's not the fault of other counties.

Nor are we unable to endure those adjustments, I believe. Actually, trade helps million in China to finally have a future while they start to consume more and more of what we produce best: financial services, insurance, intellectual property (movies, software), and right now - pork. Lots of it.

Trade will swing from seeming to favor one side to the other, but with minimal government interference, it tends to even out.

Anonymous said...


Do you remember when "Made in America" stood for something more than just our location?

When American Trade Names meant quality you could count on till long after the warranty expired?

When a lifetime warranty meant the lifetime of the buyer, not of the product?

When Quality Control was actually a department within the factory, not overseas someplace?

Ya!,,, I do remember nearly all of Japan wanted to be the American Cowboy, and Russians fell in love with LEVI's, so are you going to be the first in your neighborhood to start a US Farm Dude Farm?

Don't forget the Log Cabin line shack!