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February 23, 2009


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Tomer Broude

Gosh. What a depressing salvo of opinions (I post this on Greg's watch, but his is actually the post I find least objectionable).

So, we are all Realists now? The WTO is dead, trade negotiations are do-or-die, everything is statist? Is this a Chicago thing? As intellectuals, should we focus on general political postures and half-hearted power politics, or on broader interests and constraints, or on even broader social dynamics? And normatively, what should we be preaching? These posts can all be interpreted as disinterested justifications of harmful mercantilism.

Things are much better than they seem. Despite the Hudecisms, no dispute has ever broken the GATT/WTO's back. And for good reason.

The reports of the WTO's death are greatly exaggerated; if it didn't exist it would have to be invented. I wouldn't mind if it were to be reinvented, but it certainly exists.

Just some jittery thoughts.


Sophie Meunier

This discussion is very relevant (pardon the pun!) and reminiscent of a very excited discussion we had at Princeton last week at the workshop "Global Trade Ethics and the Politics of WTO Reform" organized by Kalypso Nicolaidis and myself. I encourage you to look at the schedule and at the memos posted on the workshop's website: http://www.princeton.edu/~pcglobal/conferences/wtoreform/index.html
In particular, look at my own memo "Is the WTO Still Relevant?" which led to a very animated discussion, as you can imagine!

Sophie Meunier

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