Susan Schwab's farewell

I never found enough time during the holidays to write a retrospective on the Bush administration’s trade policy woes, but its parting shot – a 300% duty on Roquefort – seems like an apt summary. The USTR’s new tariffs on French truffles, Irish oatmeal, Italian sparkling water, and foie gras abide by the rules (WTO-sanctioned retaliation for the EU’s ban on imports of US beef), but they look more like the last gasp of opportunistic protectionists than a strategic move by free traders. Can Susan Schwab seriously say that “the goal of these modifications is to reach a resolution of the dispute” when she imposed the duties five days before leaving office?