This article provides a concise history of the Doha Round negotiation, analyzes its deadlock and offers some suggestions for a successful deal. The article observes that the nearly decade long negotiational stalemate is symptomatic of the diametrically opposed beliefs on the nature of the Round between developed and developing countries. While developed countries appear to be increasingly oblivious of Doha’s exigency, i.e., as a “development” round, developing countries vehemently condemn the developed countries’ narrow commercial focus on the Doha Round talks. It will not be easy to untie this Gordian knot since both Worlds tend to think that no deal is better than a bad deal. This political dilemma notwithstanding, the current global economic crisis has been a clarion call for a successful Doha deal. Ironically, the widespread protectionist reactions from both developed and developing countries alike have highlighted the vital importance of a well-operating multilateral trading system. The article concludes that the U.S. must not fail to exercise its due leadership in crystallizing such momentum into a concrete outcome, as it did in the interwar period.
A Long and Winding Road: The Doha Round Negotiation in the World Trade Organization,
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