21 June 2007

The Three Deals

Deal or no deal?Three deals were on the table today:

  1. European Union leaders were haggling over their new constitution treaty;
  2. Britain and America were discussing a new defence trade cooperation treaty; and
  3. The World Trade Organisation's four most powerful members were continuing the Doha Development Agenda negotiations, aiming to help poorer countries develop their economies through new trade flows.
The last has collapsed two days early, in part because the EU, ever protective of its farm spending, was unwilling to make any real cuts in its tariffs and subsidies, though both Brussels and Washington were apparently "pleased with each other for showing flexibility." The second has been completed successfully and should enhance the trans-Atlantic partnership. The first, clearly of far greater importance to Europe's navel-gazing leaders, drags on.

Says a lot about the West's real priorities, doesn't it?