"Unfortunately, the official proceedings of the Ministerial Conference went on in Alice-in-Wonderland - style as if no financial crisis had ever happened. Without anything real to deliver after more than ten years of negotiations on the Doha round, the WTO struggled to demonstrate its continued relevance by trumpeting the accessions of Russia and Samoa – even though accessions are rarely considered to be news at the Ministerial Conference level. If the powerful countries in the WTO – and its Secretariat – continue to refuse to acknowledge that its extreme deregulation rules require revision, the WTO will continue to lose legitimacy on the international stage.
The good news is that Ecuador’s efforts did raise the profile of the issue among important WTO countries and that the Chair of the WTO’s Committee on Trade in Financial Services has agreed to keep Ecuador’s proposal for a review of the rules on the agenda for the Committee in 2012. It will be important to watch closely to make sure that the U.S. and EU allow a robust review of the rules to go forward."Does the GATS require an overhaul or does it give in its present form, sufficient policy space to deal domestically with financial crises?