This VoxEU eBook aims to inform options for resolving the Doha Round dilemma by gathering the views of some of the world’s most experienced Doha experts. All agree that moving past the crisis will require creative thinking about work-around solutions that avoid acrimony and lock in some of the progress to date.
Simon J Evenett, Richard Baldwin, Saturday, May 28, 2011
Richard Baldwin, Simon J Evenett, Saturday, May 28, 2011
After 10 years of much progress and much frustration with the Doha Round, it is time to find a new approach to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion. This essay argues that success would require four things implemented simultaneously: i) a Doha down-payment package agreed this year, ii) an understanding of how to reorganise continuing talks on the most contentious issues, iii) commencement of a WTO work programme on 21st-century trade issues, and iv) a bold initiative by middle power WTO members to try to unblock the talks.
Ujal Singh Bhatia, Saturday, May 28, 2011
Hopes for finishing Doha in 2011 are fading fast. This essay suggests a three-track approach for moving beyond the Doha crisis. 1) Identify a package of “deliverables’ – parts of the Round that could be agreed by December 2011. 2) Assemble a package of contentious issues for ongoing negotiation with clear terms of reference. 3) Establish a work programme to consider WTO institutional reform and forward-looking issues.
Zhenyu Sun, Saturday, May 28, 2011
Doha is deadlocked. This essay argues that the options are: i) to declare the negotiations dead, ii) to suspend them until after the US elections, or iii) to negotiate an early-harvest agreement for the end of this year. The author strongly believes that the early harvest is worth the extra efforts – for both the WTO and the world’s poorest.
Stuart Harbinson, Saturday, May 28, 2011
The core Doha goals – better market access and rules for agricultural, industrial, and services trade – still matter, but Doha is a ship run aground. This essay argues that the choices are: i) to abandon ship and try with a new ship later, or ii) to patch up the holes by delivering some progress in December 2011 and then wait for a high tide to carry us off the rocks. Only the latter is likely to achieve the core goals.
John Weekes, Saturday, May 28, 2011
The Doha Round is stuck. This essay argues that finishing Doha would be best, but if this is impossible, we should admit it and move on. Investing more resources and credibility in a failure would only damage the WTO and multilateral cooperation. Leaders should turn their energies towards building an agenda for the WTO’s future work that responds to 21st century interests. Getting this right is critical; the WTO cannot afford another failure if Doha dies. An early harvest is an excellent idea, but only if it can be done quickly.
Ujal Singh Bhatia, Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Multilateral trade talks known as the Doha Round are on the edge of a failure that would have unpredictable but potentially dire consequences for global cooperation. This column – written by India’s ex-WTO Ambassador – suggests a way out of the crisis. World leaders should turn their attention to salvaging Doha by segregating the most contentious issues for continuing consultation, finalising stand-alone agreements in the less contentious areas, and initiating a work programme on WTO institutional reform.
Pushan Dutt, Ilian Mihov, Timothy Van Zandt, Sunday, May 1, 2011
The WTO ‘dodged the bullet’ last week when members agreed to continue working on the deadlock holding up the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. This column surveys the existing econometric evidence on the trade effect of WTO membership. It also presents new evidence that membership raises the range of goods that members export – increasing it by an estimated 42%. The authors conjecture that the WTO boosts trade by reducing uncertainty in the mind of potential exporters regarding the evolution of international trade rules.
Richard Baldwin, Simon J Evenett, Thursday, April 28, 2011
If the Doha deadlock is to be broken this year, US and Chinese leaders must find more room for compromise by loosening their domestic political constrains. To do this, they must challenge the premise on which the deadlock is based – the view held by special interest groups that Doha is mostly about tariff cuts. These narrow special interests should not be allowed to jeopardise the world trading system and the benefits Doha would bring to all nations. This is critical; the eBook argues that if Doha fails this year, it can’t be done before 2020.
Richard Baldwin, Simon J Evenett, Thursday, April 28, 2011
This column summarises the arguments in the latest eBook. If the Doha deadlock is to be broken this year, US and Chinese leaders must find more room for compromise by loosening their domestic political constrains. To do this, they must challenge the premise on which the deadlock is based – the view held by special interest groups that Doha is mostly about tariff cuts. These narrow special interests should not be allowed to jeopardise the world trading system and the benefits Doha would bring to all nations. This is critical; the eBook argues that if Doha fails this year, it can’t be done before 2020.
Viv Davies, Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) has made very little progress in ten years. If it fails to be completed, the impact on world trade and the global economy could potentially be very damaging, with serious implications for the credibility and future of the WTO. Many commentators suggest that the Doha Round is dying of political neglect and that its revival requires the immediate intervention and committed support of G20 leaders; others argue that gaining such support at this very late stage is unrealistic. CEPR held a high-level trade seminar in London on 14th April to discuss the issue.
Simon J Evenett, Thursday, April 28, 2011
If trade diplomats thought they knew one thing, it was how to cut industrial tariffs. Yet the Doha deadlock rests squarely on the inability to compromise on industrial tariff cuts. This column says that the arguments made for higher levels of ambition don't stand up to much scrutiny and should not be allowed to provide a basis for a continuing impasse.
Peter Sutherland, Thursday, April 28, 2011
The eight trade rounds that have taken place to date have helped define the world we live in. This essay argues that political leaders must now commit resources and time to concluding the Doha Round or they will bear the responsibility for serious damage being caused not merely to globalisation but to the process of multilateralism more generally.
Lei Zhang, Qian Wang, Thursday, April 28, 2011
The Doha Round has been going on for ten years and its fate is now in jeopardy. This column argues that governments should not let it fail as it could bring down with it the whole WTO-based world trade system. As there is no potential replacement for the WTO, and without it the threat of trade wars would become more serious.
Alberto Trejos, Thursday, April 28, 2011
The Doha Round is again in a crisis. What is left to say after so many disappointments and loss of credibility? This essay argues that concluding the Doha Round in 2011 presents many unique opportunities on the economic front, on the symbolic front, and on the systemic front. But asking the key players behind today’s deadlock to move would be naive.
Sübidey Togan, Thursday, April 28, 2011
For developing countries, following the principles of sound economic policy and establishing the appropriate institutions of a functioning market economy is a very challenging task. This column says that completing the Doha Round could help them follow at least some of the principles of sound economic policy and establishing some of the appropriate institutions of functioning market economies.
Patrick A Messerlin, Thursday, April 28, 2011
At the end of this week the world will know whether, after ten years of negotiations, the Doha Round is still stuck in a “game of chicken”. This column argues that the agreement in goods still offers a good basis for a deal as it provides the most precious virtue, i.e. certainty and insurance. Moreover the likely alternative to Doha – rampant regionalism – will not help the US and China achieve more than they could with Doha because their trade partners find FTAs with these two particularly difficult.
Richard Baldwin, Thursday, April 28, 2011
America’s best chance at getting better access to the world’s fastest growing economies is on the table – it is called the Doha Round. The US should push hard for a conclusion as the alternatives are much worse. The US faces great domestic and foreign problems in pursuing the regionalism alterative. In particular, US faith in the Trans-Pacific Partnership seems to be based on unclear thinking about political constraints at home and political reactions abroad.
Claude Barfield, Thursday, April 28, 2011
Another suspension of the Doha Round is the likely outcome of the upcoming meeting. This essay argues that such a failure is now more dangerous than ever. For domestic political reasons unrelated to trade, the US will be in no position to lead on international trade issues for some years. As the US is still the “indispensable nation” for WTO talks, this means 2011 is the last good opportunity for many years.
Sübidey Togan, Friday, April 1, 2011
The services sector accounts for almost three-quarters of GDP in developed countries and nearly half of GDP in the developing world. This column asks why the WTO trade negotiations have made such little progress on liberalising trade in services and outlines a package that could get the support required to change this.