Putting Trade Troubles on Gatt Table
Most of the world's trading nations will sit down this month in an effort to remove obstacles to free trade. The 92 members of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the 38-year-old treaty that has governed international trade since World War II, are seeking ways to remove trade barriers and broaden the treaty's coverage. But the prospects are dim that the new round of talks—optimistically referred to as the “Growth Round”—will live up to its ambitious name. After seven months of preparatory negotiations at GATT headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, member nations could not even agree on an agenda for the round, which is set to convene Sept. 15 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
The reason is clear: While ...