Andrew L. Stoler, Wednesday, October 8, 2014

No progress has been made on the agriculture talks of the Doha Round since 2008. This column argues that the reason for the impasse is the approach to negotiations – in which all members are expected to participate. The author proposes a critical-mass approach to negotiations as an alternative, in which a subset of member countries can conclude a deal among themselves. The projected welfare gains from such an approach are substantial. The only obstacle is that its implementation could be politically unfeasible.

Jeffrey Frankel, Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Subsidies for food and energy are economically inefficient, but can often be politically popular. This column discusses the efforts by new leaders in Egypt, Indonesia, and India to cut unaffordable subsidies. Cutting subsidies now may even be the politically savvy choice if the alternative is shortages and an even more painful rise in the retail price in future. Ironically, it is India’s new Prime Minister Modi – elected with a large electoral mandate and much hype about market reforms – who is already shrinking from the challenge.

Hector R. Torres, Saturday, September 21, 2013

'Special and differential treatment' was justified on the basis that developing countries lacked the fiscal resources to smooth the transition to free trade. However, despite improved fiscal circumstances, exceptions to WTO rules remain in place. Establishing an independent watchdog for the WTO could help it to address these issues.

Pascal Lamy, Monday, July 29, 2013

After heading the WTO for eight years, Pascal Lamy offers his farewell remarks. This column reproduces them in full. Despite global turmoil including the Great Trade Collapse and an historic shift of economic power towards emerging markets, the WTO is larger and stronger. Regional trade arrangements can contribute trade opening but they are not sufficient. There is no escape from achieving positive results in the Doha Round, but this requires adjusting the agenda to today's realities by adding new elements.

Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott , Cathleen Cimino, Sunday, July 7, 2013

In the wake of the Great Recession, world trade has faltered. Responsible officials turned a blind eye to fresh liberalisation and condoned a quiet resurgence of protectionist measures. This column argues that the global economy needs strong medicine to rebound, and that successful WTO trade talks are part of the elixir.

Patrick A Messerlin, Sunday, July 29, 2012

Should we give up on the Doha Round and leave the WTO standing still? This column argues that such stalemate is dangerous – the WTO needs to be kept busy.

Christoph Moser, Andrew K Rose, Friday, June 8, 2012

Why do trade negotiations take so long? The WTO’s Doha Round is into its 11th year and still far from completed. This column uses data on regional trade agreements to identify the determinants of how long it takes to conclude regional trade agreements. The findings are not good news for the chances of the Doha Round ending any time soon.

John Weekes, Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Next month the World Trade Organisation holds its eighth ministerial conference. This column by a veteran of trade negotiations sets the scene – documenting the WTO’s achievements and the challenges ahead.

Aaditya Mattoo, Will Martin, Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A recent G20 communiqué on the Doha Development Agenda has got economists excited. According to a new book introduced in this column, negotiators now have an opportunity to critically assess what is on the table and to develop a more relevant agenda and more effective ways of achieving reforms. The book aims to provide empirical evidence to inform the choices ahead.

Aaditya Mattoo, Will Martin, Tuesday, November 8, 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.

Jean-Pierre Chauffour, Jean-Christophe Maur, Thursday, July 28, 2011

With the Doha Round of multilateral negotiations stuck in a rut, this column argues that preferential trade agreements may provide the necessary versatility to navigate the next frontier of trade liberalisation.

Nadia Rocha, Robert Teh, Thursday, July 21, 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, Saturday, June 25, 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 J Evenett, Saturday, May 28, 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, Saturday, May 28, 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.

Tim Josling, Saturday, May 28, 2011

Concluding the Doha Round of trade negotiations this year appears to be impossible, according to most commentators. This column argues, however, that there are still some things to be salvaged, particularly regarding agricultural trade.

Susan C Schwab, Saturday, May 28, 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 J Evenett, Saturday, May 28, 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, Friday, May 27, 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 J Evenett, Richard Baldwin, Saturday, May 28, 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.

Pages

Events