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Inefficient markets

Disappointment at Doha, but it wasn't all America's fault. Is BP having too much bad luck? And Wolfowitz demands that the World Bank stops corruption

By P L   September 2006

Doha derailed—who to blame?

So much for the lofty rhetoric about freeing trade and aiding development; when it came to the crunch, governments instead bowed to corporate protectionism. Thus the Doha round—launched after 9/11 as WTO members rallied around America in a show of unity—has collapsed in acrimony, with most blaming the US for its demise. This is not fair. America was guilty mainly of being too ambitious: it offered to prune its agricultural subsidies if others sheared their farm tariffs, but India and the EU refused.

Officially the round is indefinitely suspended, but there are already hopes of…

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