Michele Ruta, Anthony Venables, 21 April 2012

Around one fifth of global merchandise trade is in natural resources. Yet national policies manipulate trade flows and prices, and the problem is exacerbated by market failure in long-run extraction contracts. This column argues these problems could be addressed by extending the role of the WTO in the enforcement of resource-extraction agreements.

Simon Evenett, Frédéric Jenny, 15 February 2012

After several decades of quiescence, global commodity prices almost doubled in 2008 and, after a brief fall, rose again in 2011. The papers in this new CEPR eReport aim to identify and assess the importance of the factors responsible for the recent increases in the levels and volatility of commodity prices.

Vera Thorstensen, Lucas Ferraz, Emerson Marçal, 04 December 2011

Persistent exchange-rate misalignments have created trade frictions worldwide. This column argues that the WTO should adopt trade rules that allow nations to neutralise the effects of exchange-rate misalignments. Otherwise, the WTO might become a diplomatic-juridical fiction.

Bernard O'Connor, 27 November 2011

Is China a market economy? This legal question matters as antidumping and anti-subsidies laws apply differently to market economies. This column deconstructs the myth that China will automatically get market-economy status at the WTO in 2016 and argues that if China wants the EU to recognise it as a market economy it should comply with the explicit criteria in EU law.

Lionel Fontagné, 25 November 2011

The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations has passed its ten-year anniversary unspectacularly and the question is now how to salvage a decade of frustrating progress. Yet even with a new ‘Ministerial’ of the World Trade Organisation being held in mid-December, this column argues that an interim agreement for poor countries and trade is sadly out of reach.

John Weekes, 23 November 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, 08 November 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, 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.

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