There was an excellent article from Liam Halligan in Sunday’s Telegraph:
The stark underlying message from these WTO numbers is that the West’s inability to recover is holding back the rest of the world much less than many predicted. Rather than being reliant on American and European demand, the emerging markets are increasingly making the global economic weather – generating growth organically, by trading among themselves.
Brazil’s biggest trading partner is no longer the US, but China. The same applies in Japan, where rather than being dependent on American demand as they have been for fifty years, Japanese companies are burying the historical hatchet and shackling their economy to that of the People’s Republic. Intra-Asian commerce is the fastest-growing component of global trade.
For a long time now, Economic Agenda has banged-on about the need for the leaders of the world’s biggest economies – particularly those in the West – to show the courage needed to face-down domestic vested interests and make the compromises necessary to secure an over-arching trade liberalization agreement among the WTO’s 153 member-states.
The European Union espouses free trade. America espouses free trade. Yet between them, these two massive trading blocs maintain a vast, sprawling web of barriers and subsidies that not only dump agricultural goods on world markets, condemning countless peasant farmers to poverty, but also seriously undermine global commerce more broadly.
The Chinese needs to compromise to secure Doha. So do the Indians, South Africans and Brazilians. But the West should be leading the charge when it comes to freeing-up world trade – not in the name of charity or “development”, but as a result of cool, dispassionate analysis combined with naked economic self-interest.
We recommend the whole article.