Saving the WTO from the Doha Round

Saving the WTO from the Doha Round

Imagine a day, perhaps sometime in the next year and a half, when world leaders triumphantly proclaim that an agreement has at long last been reached in the Doha Round of global trade negotiations. Hosannas pour forth from editorial writers and commentators, all declaring that after so many disappointments and failures since the talks were first launched in 2001, the breakthrough accord heralds a giant leap forward for global commerce and international economic cooperation.

Could it happen? Glimmers of hope have emerged from the World Trade Organization in recent months that a compromise may be in the offing, one loosely patterned on a deal that fell apart in July 2008 after a marathon, nine-day meeting at WTO headquarters in Geneva. Since then, one of the main antagonists, India, elected a more stable government in the spring of 2009, and the new Indian trade minister, Anand Sharma, has adopted a more conciliatory tone than his predecessor. As for the United States, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has proposed an interesting approach for cutting through some of the trickiest problems bedeviling the talks.

An unusually upbeat mood prevailed at an early-September meeting in New Delhi attended by ministers from 35 countries. Although the meeting accomplished little more than an agreement to restart negotiations, the host, Sharma, proclaimed that "the impasse has been broken," while WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy voiced optimism that the meeting could be "the beginning of the endgame of the Doha Round."

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review