Notes From Underground: G-20 is History

The G-20 is history and so should be the U.S. Treasury Secretary. It seems that the U.S. was the whipping boy of the new and improved world conclave. It was George W. Bush who set the wheels in motion by granting so much HOPE to the G-20 and the U.S. has been unable to accomplish almost nothing at this forum. So much hyperbole goes into the media guide and so little tangible comes out.

There are no numerical guidelines on current account surpluses/deficits; no results on ending the new imposed restrictions on capital flows; and the U.S. itself failed to achieve its effort at securing a free trade agreement with South Korea. There was some talk about reigniting the sparks of the DOHA trade round but that was left to the hope of later days.

How was Obama led into this mess and why are those who led him there still in control of the U.S. global economic agenda? Many pundits have written–and I must concur–that for the last three years, the U.S. has punched well below its weight. American efforts would be viewed in a better light if it would practice what it preaches: Can’t call others out when your farm subsidies prevent emerging nations from increasing their role in global agricultural markets. (It was an interesting coincidence that the Financial Times ran a frontpage story on how upset Europeans are about the U.S. sending heavily subsidized ETHANOL to the European markets, which prevents the growth of the European ETHANOL production.)

The U.S. is in an awkward position as it wants to lecture other nations about their shortcomings while its HOUSE is in such disarray. The U.S. President should not have been placed in such a position of uncertainty where he came away empty-handed after having promised so much.

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