The Doha Round is Dead. . .Rob Portman Going to OMB


Others, including House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, have said Doha was dead over and over, but today I believe it.
U.S. Trade representative and former Ohio Congressman Rob Portman will move over to take Joshua Bolten’s position as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. I actually like Rob Portman a lot and think that this administration is underpopulated with public servants of his capability and temperament.
However, it’s also a clear sign that the U.S. has no confidence that the Doha Round of WTO negotiations are going anywhere — and fast track authority to negotiate a trade deal is expiring soon with no deal in hand. The Doha ship just sank.
I’m the last who should be chuckling about typos in others’ materials — as I make them way too much — but I love the Bush quote in the Washington Post report on the Portman OMB appointment:

Bush, at a morning announcement at the White House, said Portman would “have a leading roll on my economic team.”

I hope that Portman does have a leading role — and isn’t just geting rolled in this new position.
— Steve Clemons


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