Rescuing Free Trade From the Bureaucrats & Special Interests

Rescuing Free Trade From the Bureaucrats & Special Interests

Smith Op-Ed in Liberty Magazine
November 30, 2003

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In the aftermath of the collapse of the free trade talks in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cancun, European Union trade negotiator Pascal Lamy noted:  “We would have all gained from an agreement.  Now we all lose.”  He on to state that he would not “play the blame game.”  But, of course, others soon did and, in truth, there was plenty of blame to go around.  the anti-globalization forces, who rioted in Seattle a few years earlier, deserve a portion of the blame—they were elated that once again they had paled their part in derailing any move toward global trade liberalization American and EU economic protectionists were also pleased—as the talks collapsed, one whispered to me, “There is indeed a God in heaven!”  U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick was irate, blaming the G-21 (a recently formed group of developing-world nations led in part by India and Brazil) for posturing rather than negotiating.  And certainly the developing world showed no eagerness to dismantle its own trade barriers.  The U.S. position was that the Cancun collapse reflected a “failure of will.”