Triumph of the Lobbyists

Australian trade minister Mark Vaile is in chilly Washington this week, where local minds are fixated on the Superbowl and a Democratic contest in New Hampshire. Vaile is meeting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick in the final stage of talks to see if the countries can reach a deal on a free trade agreement. For a host of reasons, mainly political, it's unlikely that the two teams of negotiators will be doing high-fives by the weekend. After a year of serious negotiations over the complicated chapters that comprise a FTA, and longer still if you consider the soft diplomacy involved, the...

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