Opinion

The damage often done by on-duty non-essential personnel

This is where the World Trade Organization, usually a colossal waste of space, can actually be of some good use.

Let’s take one commodity as an example: sugar. The world’s sugar-producing nations need to sit down together, each with a copy of everyone else’s lists of protectionist sugar policies. And start horse trading.

“Brazil – how about if you get rid of this subsidy, we’ll each get rid of one.”

“Mexico – if you get rid of this tariff, we’ll each get rid of one.” 

Let the subsequent discussions ensue. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Working together to tear down trade impediments makes a whole lot more sense than working unilaterally to continue building them.

And someone needs to make sure the non-essentials understand this – when they are back from their back-paid vacation.