Bargaining chips

“WHEN you’ve already settled the price of the car, there’s no point quibbling over whether the gas tank is full.” Thus did Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, urge WTO ambassadors this week to conclude the second Information Technology Agreement (ITA-II). They duly agreed to eliminate import tariffs on 201 new electronics products, such as high-end semiconductors, medical equipment and game consoles.

The 54 countries involved cover 90% of the trade...

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