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November 26, 2013

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WTO chief: Negotiators fail to reach global trade deal

GENEVA (AP) — Negotiators came close but failed Tuesday to clinch a free-trade deal that could have helped boost the world economy by $1 trillion a year and cleared the way for a broader global agreement.

Diplomats from the World Trade Organization’s 159 members had been trying to forge an agreement before a trade ministers’ meeting next week in Bali, Indonesia. Achieving a deal in Bali is seen as a final effort to revive a broader 12-year effort to ease global trade rules.

The mini-deal discussed in Geneva had been intended, in part, to reduce delays and inefficiencies at national borders. Making it easier to move goods across borders could boost the global economy by nearly $1 trillion a year and support 21 million jobs, according to a report co-written by Jeffrey Schott, a senior fellow in international trade at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The lack of a global deal hasn’t prevented individual countries from seeking agreements among themselves. But experts say the failure to reach a global deal leaves poorer countries worse off.

“This should be a no-brainer for developed and developing countries,” Schott said.

Analysis: Iran’s nuclear dealmakers hone new pitch for Revolutionary Guard

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Even before Iran’s envoys could pack their bags in Geneva after wrapping up a first-step nuclear deal with world powers, President Hassan Rouhani was opening a potentially tougher diplomatic front: selling the give-and-take to his country’s powerful insider interests led by the Revolutionary Guard.

Iran’s ability to fulfill its part of the six-month bargain — which includes greater access for U.N. inspectors and a cap on the level of uranium enrichment — will depend largely on the Guard and its network.

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