Aaditya Mattoo, Will Martin, 08 November 2011

The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is in limbo and negotiators face a difficult “trilemma”: to implement all or part of the draft agreements as they stand today; to modify them substantially; or to dump Doha and start afresh. At this critical juncture, this CEPR/World Bank volume aims to provide a better empirical basis for informed choices.

Javier López González, Michael Gasiorek, 30 July 2011

The EU is redesigning its rules on preferential trade access for developing and emerging economies. This column outlines the likely winners and losers and argues that in order to help developing countries integrate into the world economy much more creative policies are needed.

Nadia Rocha, Robert Teh, 21 July 2011

Preferential trade agreements are now a prominent feature of the global trading system. This column introduces the WTO's new World Trade Report that explores why deep regionalism is gaining momentum. It also proposes a number of options for increasing coherence between such agreements and the multilateral trading system.

Ujal Singh Bhatia, 25 June 2011

If the doomed Doha Round threatens the existence of the WTO itself, can the two be separated? Several economists have argued that they should. This column looks at whether this is actually possible.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 28 May 2011

The Doha Round poses a dilemma for world leaders; the talks cannot be completed this year, but there is no agreement among WTO members on either suspending or killing the Round. This column introduces the latest VoxEU eBook, which gathers the thoughts of some of the world’s most experienced trade negotiators on what comes next. Indonesia's trade minister and former WTO Ambassadors from the US, China, India, Canada and Hong Kong each provide a plan for getting past the Doha crisis.

Mari Pangestu, 28 May 2011

Doha is stalled by gaps that are unbridgeable today. Indonesia’s Trade Minister argues that we need to be guided by priorities and pragmatism. We should develop a set of stepping stones that will help us complete the Doha Round eventually. We should identify the areas that are achievable in the very near future but which have an impact on development while building confidence for the continued journey to a successful Round. We should never lose sight of the final goal – completing the Doha Round as a single undertaking. In short, we are not looking for a “Plan B”; we are looking for a new way to execute Plan A.

Susan Schwab, 28 May 2011

The Doha Round has failed, according the former US Trade Representative Susan Schwab. This essay argues that prolonging Doha jeopardises the multilateral trading system and threatens future prospects for WTO-led liberalisation. Negotiators should salvage whatever partial agreements they can from Doha, and quickly drop the rest to ensure the December ministerial meeting focuses on future work plans rather than recriminations over Doha.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 28 May 2011

World leaders must make important decisions concerning the future of the Doha Round for the 31 May 2011 meeting of the WTO membership. This essay introduces the issues and summarises contributors’ suggestions for “Next Steps”. It argues that the best outcome would be for WTO members to agree to work towards a small package of deliverables for December 2011 and push the rest of the agenda items into the future – perhaps with specific instructions for changing the basic negotiating protocols used to date.

Peter Sutherland, 27 May 2011

Peter Sutherland talks to Viv Davies about the final report of the high-level trade experts group, published this week, on 'World Trade and the Doha Round'. The report traces the imminent failure of the Doha Round back to what the authors consider to be "a deficit of political leadership"; they also make the case for why the WTO matters. The interview was recorded in London on 24 May 2011. [Also read the transcript.]

Simon Evenett, Richard Baldwin, 28 May 2011

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.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 28 May 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, 28 May 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, 28 May 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, 28 May 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, 28 May 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, 10 May 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, 01 May 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 Evenett, 28 April 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 Evenett, 28 April 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, 27 April 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.

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