Simon Evenett, 28 April 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.

Muhamad Chatib Basri, 28 April 2011

The Doha Round of trade negotiations began nearly ten years ago with a focus on lowering trade barriers, particularly for the sake of developing countries. Today, the Doha Round is stuck in limbo. This column argues that both developed countries as well as developing countries stand to gain from moving the discussions forward – particularly those in the Asia Pacific region.

Peter Sutherland, 28 April 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, 28 April 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, 28 April 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, 28 April 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 Messerlin, 28 April 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, 28 April 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.

Philip Levy, 28 April 2011

The Obama Administration seems to view Doha delay as a minor issue since they view the export gains from the current package as small. This column argues that this calculation is based on a false premise that the status quo would continue even if the Round dragged on for years. Nations respect the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Mechanism verdicts in order to remain as members in good standing; this allows them to reap the benefits of the WTO as a negotiating forum. If the WTO collapses as a negotiating forum, nations may move towards a crass calculus that assesses verdicts only on the basis of the threats that back them. This would be a deeply regrettable move away from a rules-based global trading regime.

Peter Drysdale, 07 May 2011

Discussions on breaking the impasse between the US and China are continuing following last month’s landmark meeting of WTO members. This column – written by the intellectual father of APEC – argues that allowing Doha to languish for years is deeply dangerous. Part of an eBook posted in April, the column asserts that failure to conclude Doha this year would put a dagger at the heart of the multilateral system. With the rise of China, the decline of US trade leadership, turmoil in the Middle East, and a damaged and imbalanced global economy, the world needs multilateralism more than ever.

Claude Barfield, 28 April 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.

Ernesto Zedillo, 28 April 2011

What is needed for the Doha Round of trade negotiations to reach a satisfactory end? This essay argues that the talks need nothing less than the involvement of heads of government. Deepening economic integration requires improved global governance and completing the Doha Round must be part of this. Failure would put globalisation, and the enormous benefits it has brought about, at serious risk.

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.

Simon Evenett, 17 April 2011

The recent bleak news on the Doha Round of trade discussions has thrown its future into doubt once again. This column discusses ways to salvage the talks and the World Trade Organisation itself, arguing that it is time to start thinking about changing the way the organisation does business in order to reflect the changing circumstances of the 21st century.

Sübidey Togan, 01 April 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.

Peter Sutherland, 04 February 2011

Peter Sutherland, former director general of the World Trade Organization, talks to Viv Davies about the recently published interim report on ‘The Doha Round: Setting a deadline, defining a final deal’. He explains why Doha has stalled and presents the case for its immediate completion. He maintains it is crucial that governments now commit to concluding Doha by the end of 2011 or else the round is doomed and all that has been achieved will be lost, with disastrous consequences for world trade. The interview was recorded by telephone on 1 February 2011. [Also read the transcript]

Richard Baldwin, 28 January 2011

The Doha Round is likely to conclude this year, as a burst of political leadership by G20 and APEC nations and deft diplomacy by the WTO have spurred talks that are rapidly narrowing the remaining gaps. This column reviews the progress and highlights what more is needed based on a newly released report written by the High Level Trade Experts Group.

Bernard Hoekman, Aaditya Mattoo, 24 December 2010

Trade in services is blighted by restrictive policy and is consequently one of the central issues in the Doha trade negotiations. Yet this column argues that even the best offers put forward are twice as restrictive as current policy and will generate no additional market openings. This column provides two proposals that aim to enhance the prospects of correcting this.

Bernard Hoekman, 19 June 2010

A key objective of the WTO Doha Round was to address the concerns of developing countries. This column argues that, despite the lack of progress on the core market access agenda, much has been achieved in terms of market access and trade facilitation since 2001.

Philip Levy, 19 June 2010

The persistent failure to reach a new agreement under the WTO has sent trade scholars back to the drawing board. This column discusses two prominent ideas for restructuring the talks to get past the prolonged impasse. One is to permit agreements between some, but not all, members; the other to relax the requirement of consensus.


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