Excitement ahead of this week’s 13th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization is, let’s say, well under control.

The question is not whether this once-important gathering will fail, but if it will fail in a way that is even worth noticing. The prevailing sentiment seems to be: "True, this broken relic of neoliberalism is barely functioning any longer. Who cares?”

Regardless of your views on globalization, you should care. Unrepentant neoliberals like myself see the rising tide of trade protection and deliberate economic fragmentation as a grave mistake. On our view that liberal trade is good, a suitably refurbished and effective WTO is an essential component of rising global prosperity.