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.

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.

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.

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.


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