Why Weren't Interest Groups in Favor of Freer Trade Mobilized?
Paul Krugman meditates on the collapse of the Doha Round:
Dead Doha - Paul Krugman: It’s over — which is neither a surprise nor a catastrophe. Trade negotiations aren’t driven by economists’ calculations of welfare gains; they’re driven by enlightened mercantilism, what has come to be known as GATT-think. If trade negotiators want to take on well-entrenched interest groups, they have to find countervailing interest groups with an interest in liberalization. That never happened in this round; instead, we had a rather pathetic attempt to cast trade negotiations as, yes, part of the Global War on Terror ™. No surprise, then, that the thing didn’t work. Meanwhile, existing agreements stand. This isn’t Smoot-Hawley; it isn’t even the 2002 Bush steel tariff. Life, and trade, will go on.
Me, I remember Glenn Hubbard, Larry Lindsey, Greg Mankiw, and company all saying that Bush had to impose his steel tariffs in 2002 as a price for getting fast-track authority so that he could successfully complete... the Doha Round.