Blog: Leonie BarrieIstanbul Declaration...what's it all about?

Leonie Barrie | 10 June 2004

I've just been having a chat with a couple of contributors about the Istanbul Declaration where 81 trade associations from 43 different countries are trying to get an extension to the quota phase-out deadline. The whole issue has to be more complicated than it appears: so does anyone have any idea what these people are really trying to do?

There isn't a hope in hell the EU or US will agree. And even if they did, they couldn't get the WTO to agree, as that requires unanimity (and we can be pretty clear which way the world's two largest countries would vote). So they'd have to break a treaty - which is illegal under most circumstances. And the Chinese would make life impossible for them in a gazillion different ways. They must know this. So what's the point?

There has to be some complicated shadow-boxing to do with getting lots of US candidates committed to protectionism so that there'll be more political support for anti-dumping cases next year. Or are we missing something?


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