Musing on strategic pauses and the non-slippery slopes...
Iowa and trade... it's the prices, stupid

No slippage here, keep walking

Corporate and political elites have been trying to expand the WTO unsuccessfully for over a decade. One of the main components of their plan is to subject the U.S. higher education sector to WTO coverage, something that would be very bad from the perspective of domestic policy innovation. See here for more. But in the wake of the Bush lovefest on the NAFTA expansion to Peru, it seems that there might be some more rumors of slippage on the slippery slopes, ranging from more Fast Track for Bush to actually considering expanding the WTO. From today's Congress Daily PM:

U.S. Trade Representative Schwab said "there is every reason to expect" that a Doha agreement on world trade can occur before President Bush leaves office, according to a transcript of remarks she made Monday in Singapore. She also said Democratic congressional leaders have indicated a willingness to move ahead on presidential trade negotiating authority if negotiators come up with a framework for a Doha deal...

A spokesman for Speaker Pelosi said Democrats would "want to see what agreement is negotiated," but did not rule out action on trade negotiating authority if the Doha deal is good enough to appease Democrats. A spokesman for Senate Finance Chairman Baucus said that if a Doha deal is negotiated, Baucus will confer with Schwab, House Ways and Means Chairman Rangel and others "to determine the appropriate next steps." the aide said.

No indication yet on how real any of this is, or if just bluster on all sides. We'll stay tuned...

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