Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Getting ready to sink Doha again

Seven years ago the WTO agreement was scuppered by the Europeans. It's taken that long to get it back on track. 24 hours ago, the US swallowed hard and accepted a compromise in order to get and keep India and China on board. Twelve hours later:

'Today, the cabinet considers that the project currently on the table is not acceptable as it stands, to the extent that it shows no advance on elements which are altogether essential in our eyes,' government spokesman Luc Chatel said after a cabinet meeting.
The last time around, the failure of the Doha round led to 10-15 million people being unemployed worldwide. What great injustice must now be addressed?
'the protection of indications of geographical origin', in a reference to such issues as the labelling of wine, and 'the defence of our European industrial interests in the face of emerging countries'.
In other words, the petty protection of a small franchise, and the need to stay on top of the ball by keeping the poor poor. France staying high on the chart, you see, is good for humanity, and humanity owes them some thanks.
The cabinet underlined that 'France was attached more than ever to the promotion of the poorest countries'.
But don't worry, because as long as they're out there hating the poor, they want everyone to know that they don't hate the poor, that you should sigh and thank the heavens that if it weren't for them, millions of people would have jobs.

Given all of those PR shams parading shreds of aid, not trade, by “development Europe” or “human rights Europe”, we are supposed find this all very heartwarming.

No comments: