The collapse of Doha

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It's official - the Doha round of trade talks has ended without producing any agreement. The FT provides the details. While it's a shame for world trade, I'd like to highlight one small item that might be salvaged. During the negotiations, the U.S. and the European Union 'offered' to increase the number of temporary work visas available for skilled professionals. This is something that these countries ought to be unilaterally, regardless of the failure of Doha.

It goes almost without saying that the U.S. and the European Union would benefit from the skilled labor, while the immigrants would earn higher wages and gain new skills. But such a policy is particularly important for the U.S. While American universities have benefitted from the talent of the smartest people on earth for the last half century, they can no longer count on this resource. Europe's Bologna Process is on its way to creating a unified higher education space, making it ever more attractive to the world's best and brightest. The U.S. can hardly afford to continue to put up excessive barriers to the international scientists and tech gurus who are central to its economic strength. Given an increase in their options, the skilled laborers of the developing world may very well take their talents elsewhere.


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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