Saving the Trade Agenda

At December's WTO conference, deadlines were put off until April and may now be missed. It's time to break the impasse

As the dust settled from the World Trade Organization's Hong Kong Trade Ministerial last December, trade ministers breathed a collective sigh of relief. Disasters -- such as the failure even to launch negotiations during the chaotic Seattle sessions in 1999 or the total breakdown in talks that marred Cancun in 2003 -- were narrowly averted. Though movement in Hong Kong was glacially slow, the free-trade train was still in motion. An expensive derailment was avoided.

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