Media Blog

Doha Dying

While America is captivated by the legal wranglings of a handful of terrorist suspects at Guantanamo, a trade deal that could have dramatic implications for the U.S. economy is dying a quiet death in section D:

GENEVA, June 29 — Rich countries promised 4 1/2 years ago to make the global trade system fairer for poor countries, changing rules to help them reap the rewards of international commerce. Now the negotiations launched then are reaching a do-or-die stage, but prospects are bleak for a deal that would bestow much benefit on the poor.
At the headquarters of the World Trade Organization on the shores of Lake Geneva, trade ministers from around the world convened Thursday in hope for a weekend breakthrough. The ministers seek to lower trade barriers worldwide. But unlike previous negotiations with similar aims, this set of talks has an ambitious twist: The main goal is to change rules that have put poor countries at a disadvantage in the global marketplace.
Even before the meetings could begin in earnest, initial comments from some ministers underscored the difficulties. Peter Mandelson, the European Union trade commissioner, said Thursday that the E.U. may offer sharp cuts in tariffs on farm goods in an effort to satisfy developing countries. But Mandelson can’t count on bringing along even the countries he ostensibly represents.

Other than the placement of the story, the Washington Post is good: It’s right about the stakes and the problems that threaten to sink this round of talks. In a nutshell, the three giants — the E.U., the United States, and a large block of developing countries led by India and Brazil — are offering large concessions that none of the others want, yet refusing to budge on the issues that really matter. When called on their intransigence, they point to the irrelevant concessions they’ve already offered and dodge on the more politically difficult ones. They’re talking past each other, and it’s a recipe for failure — especially when the public doesn’t know what’s happening.

Most Popular

White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Trump Can’t Cry ‘No Fair’

If I may jump in, I take Charlie’s point and I think he’s largely correct. I also think David is correct. There’s not that much of a contradiction in that because I think to some extent they’re talking about different things. And this reflects a larger frustration I have with many of the ... Read More