The end of competitive liberalization?

“Competitive liberalization” is a really crummy strategy when you run out of steam at home, huh?

Paul Blustein, of the Brookings Institution, a liberal Washington think-tank, said the impasse was an understandable outcome of the Bush administration’s pursuit of bilateral trade deals such as the Colombia agreement, while multilateral talks have stalled.

“Maybe this time, we will finally learn that trade deals of this ilk can be a lot more trouble than they are worth,” said Mr Blustein. “The Colombia contretemps is the latest sign that the Bush administration’s policy of avidly pursuing such agreements with individual countries is prone to serious backfiring.”

Contrary opinions do exist.