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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lamy will get a second chance!

Well, Pascal Lamy, the ineffective Director of the WTO for the past 4 years, will waltz into a second term as director of that organization, unopposed, as no other candidate, filed papers by the time of the deadline of December 31st, 2008.

No other country thought of sending in a candidate for leadership of the organization. That's extremely odd and troubling. Perhaps the Doha Development Agenda, is more complex and more at a critical position, than the outsiders can bear to witness. And,. truly, you would need key people in place to keep the balance of the progress they have made--perhaps it's all for nothing.

That's a shame. This would have been a perfect time for a US or an Indian/Brazilian director, to help steer the organization past the Doha rounds' deadlock on subsidies on agriculture--more particularly the deadlock on that issue between those mentioned countries.

Also at the root of the subsidies issue, is the EU with the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy)

Lamy is a Frenchman. So, his blockage is peripheral and his presence, should send a signal that he is the reason why every one else cant move forward because of his apparent lack of sensitivities on the issue.

So, apparently, we will get Lamy again for another term. Sadly, the gains we had on the agricultural issue, can be credited more to Ambassador Falconer than he.

In any event....this is what we have for 2009 and beyond. I have little hope for the Doha as it stands now. Unless Falconer will have a greater say in the progress, with little or no political posturing by Lamy, this Doha is more of less moribund--especially with protectionism looming amidst this global economic crisis and, Obama not being keen on addressing the multi-lateral system the way a free marketeer would.
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