Making sense of the Wallonian veto

By The Economist online

IF CLEVELAND were given the right to veto any potential trade agreement between American and another country, how many trade agreements would ever be enacted? One reasonable guess is: none. If the federal government then deprived Cleveland of the right to veto trade agreements, would that be anti-democratic?

For those who missed the news: last week the parliament of Wallonia (one of the three regions which make up the state of Belgium) voted to block the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which is an ambitious trade deal negotiated between Canada and the European Union. Wallonia’s population is less than 1% of that of the EU has a whole: comparable to the share of America’s population residing in the Cleveland metropolitan area. It seems slightly perverse that so small an area could block so important a deal which had been so long in the making. Especially when the other party in the deal in question is Canada, seemingly as innocuous a trade partner as one could wish for.

Dani Rodrik, an economist at Harvard University, says the vote is in large…

…read more

Read more here: Making sense of the Wallonian veto

Category: Business and finance, Free exchange

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: