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Economy

Why The New Brazilian WTO Head May Be Bad News For Free Trade

Roberto Azevedo comes from an emerging BRICS economy, where there has been more focus on bilateral commerce deals than wider trade agreements favored by the US and Europe.

In the Brazilian port of Itajaí
In the Brazilian port of Itajaí
America Economia

BRASILIA - The election of Brazilian Roberto Azevedo as head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is another Latin American triumph on the international stage. It also, however, puts Latin America at the helm of a paralyzed organization, opening up the possibility that Azevedo's rise could turn out to be the last nail in the coffin for the WTO.

Responsible for promoting and facilitating trade among countries across the globe, the WTO emerged in 1995, after successfully completing the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), at a time when countries were lowering their customs tariffs and other obstacles to imports. But the 2001 Doha Development Round and its plans of liberating commerce multilaterally limped to life, eventually stalling by 2008 after the global financial crisis.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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