As you point out, a key cause of the problems of the Doha trade round has been a lack of understanding among voters and opinion makers in the developed world on the importance of farm trade liberalisation (No 257, October 2006).
Since May 2004, when Hungary joined the EU, our press has been full of stories about rotten meat and expired eggs “flooding” our supermarket shelves from our European neighbours. Whether factually correct or not, the underlying message these reports carry is that trade liberalisation is bad and only Hungarian farmers are trustworthy. Until those few politicians, who have a vision, bother to explain to voters that liberalisation is not the culprit, the Doha round will continue to face opposition. I wonder how many trade ministers have given television interviews to explain the stakes to their voters?Miklos Gaspar
Budapest, HungaryOECD Observer N°261 May 2007