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Doha trade round

Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 10 years, 11 months ago

Table of Contents:


 

Doha Trade Round:

 

What needs to be done?

 

With the failure of the Doha Round, the trading system in the 21st century will require substantial reform. The problems of the Doha Round and the proliferation of regionalism confront WTO members with many challenges.  We are moving away from the ideal of one single set of rules that would govern world trade, and toward a system of plularlism.  

 

When the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations was launched, in 2001, the price of oil was $25 a barrel, a ton of rice cost $170,China’s current account surplus was two percent of the country’s gdp, U.S. financial institutions were at the vanguard of globalization, and the term “sovereign wealth fund” could have been mistakenly thought to refer to the retirement kitty of an aging monarch. As of November 10, 2008, oil was going for $65 a barrel, and rice for $515 a ton. China and the oil-producing states have trillions of dollars at their disposal. The U.S. financial system, in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, is teetering between socialization and oblivion. As all these changes have unfolded, the governments involved in the Doha talks have,Nero-like, spent too much time dwelling on minor issues while ignoring the burning questions

 

read more:  From Doha to the Next Bretton Woods: A New Multilateral Trade Agenda

 

 

Potential Benefits:

 

— Maximum tariff for farm products could fall to 30 per cent or less, and 5per cent on non-agricultural goods

— Existing tariffs applied on imported goods could also fall but to a lesser extent than maximum tariff ceilings, according to the World Bank economists

— The talks could include a sharp reduction in the amount of money and other assistance that governments can give to their agricultural exporters. The European Union's permitted level of farm subsidies could fall by 70 per cent and Washington's by 60per cent, the World Bank said

 

 

The trouble with Regional Trading Blocs

 

Sep 3rd 2009 From The Economist : "Regional trade deals are no substitute for a Doha agreement. Indeed, they are its enemy"

 

Taken as a trend, regional trading blocks amount to a dangerous erosion of the system of multilateral trade on which global prosperity depends.  bilateral deals impose so much paperwork and bureaucracy on trade that companies rarely make use of their provisions.  

 

When bilateral agreements are attractive to companies, it is often for the wrong reasons. Many bilateral trade deals offer favourable treatment to a few companies from a particular country at the expense of all the rest from elsewhere in the world. The companies that lose out may well be lower-cost producers, since such agreements are dictated more by politics than by economics. If so, the economy will suffer. Even if such a deal is eventually superseded by a broader one, it may already have caused long-term damage by allowing less efficient firms to become entrenched. Economies that are too small to extract concessions from their bigger bilateral negotiating partners fare particularly badly.

 

Then there is the complexity of the growing number of bilateral and regional deals. Each has its own rules and administrative requirements, leading to a confusing spaghetti (or perhaps noodle soup) of preferential agreements, instead of the predictability that multilateralism promises. As such agreements multiply, there is less chance that they create the wealth that their authors claim.

 

Some claim that the tricky issues that stand in the way of a multilateral deal can be more easily resolved when only two countries are sitting at the table. That rarely happens: in the rush to conclude an agreement, such issues are often shelved. India’s deal with ASEAN last year, for instance, put aside the poisonous question of farm trade, which was one of the deal-breakers in the Doha talks last July.

 

Bilateral agreements, thus, do not, on the whole, serve as stepping stones to a comprehensive global deal. On the contrary, they both distract governments from the multilateral process and offer cover for politicians’ failure to advance it. Moreover, the fear of losing favourable treatment in a bilateral agreement can deter governments from talking tough in multilateral negotiations.

 

Some defenders of bilateralism admit all this, but cling to one argument they regard as clinching—that bilateral agreements are at least possible, whereas the chances of concluding Doha seem ever more remote. The comparison, they say, is not between local deals and a global one, but between regional deals and no deals at all.

 

This argument ignores the lessons of the past. The history of the multilateral trading system is littered with rows, hiatuses, disillusion, despair—and sudden success. In the 1970s many people wrote off the precursor to the World Trade Organisation. The ministerial meeting of 1982 failed and the later Uruguay round of talks nearly collapsed, before being successfully concluded. Even now, amid deep pessimism about ever finishing Doha, the Indian government is holding a summit of trade ministers in the hope of restarting the talks. If they truly want Doha to succeed, the bilateralists need first to acknowledge that their own deals are poisoning its chances.

 

 

 

 

Working Paper 09-2009

What's on the Table? The Doha Round as of August 2009

Matthew Adler, Claire Brunel, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, and Jeffrey J. Schott

 

  The Doha Round is the longest-running trade liberalization negotiation in the postwar era. Despite its longevity, the end is not yet in sight as parties disagree on the depth of liberalization necessary in agriculture and nonagricultural market access (NAMA). This rift is prolonging the Round's completion and hindering the discussion of other important issues on the negotiating agenda, particularly services.

 

To shed light on the debate concerning the benefits from Doha, the authors use three metrics to estimate the potential gains from liberalization in agriculture and NAMA. The metrics are first applied to scale the payoff from specific "modalities" set forth in papers drafted by the chairs of the Doha negotiating groups. Over $65 billion of additional world exports annually and roughly $100 billion in annual world GDP gains can come just from the agriculture and NAMA negotiations. The reason GDP gains are so large is that both imports and exports contribute to economic efficiency and income growth, and world two-way trade gains are more than double export gains alone. The agriculture and NAMA trade and GDP gains are written into the negotiating modalities and thus are the most certain portion of the authors' projected Doha outcome.

 

The authors then apply the metrics to estimate the benefits that could result from sector initiatives that would lower trade barriers for chemicals, electronic/electrical goods, and environmental goods beyond the tariff cuts outlined in the negotiating modalities. They estimate that the three sector agreements would increase world exports by $57 billion annually and world GDP by $104 billion each year.

 

Finally, the authors analyze prospective gains from liberalization of services barriers and improvements in trade facilitation. A 10 percent reduction in the tariff equivalent of applied services barriers would increase annual world exports by an estimated $56 billion and boost annual world GDP by an estimated $100 billion. World exports could increase by $340 billion if underperforming countries are brought up to the global average in four key areas of trade facilitation (port efficiency, customs environment, own regulatory environment, and service-sector infrastructure). Gains from meaningful trade facilitation would increase world GDP by roughly $385 billion annually. Overall, the authors estimate that the boost to global exports from concluding the Doha Round could range between $180 billion and $520 billion annually, depending on the level of ambition. The potential GDP gains are significant, between $300 billion and $700 billion annually, and well balanced between developed and developing countries.

 

>> Read full working paper [pdf] http://www.piie.com/publications/wp/wp09-6.pdf

 

 

Major Trading countries

 

In 2008, the seven top trading nations: the European Union states, the US, China, Japan, India, Brazil and Australia.

 

 

Latest Trade Round:

 

In an attempt to liberalize trade, the world is engaged in free trade negotiations.   The latest negotiation is called the Doha trade round

 

 

 

What is "Doha" anyways?

 

The Doha trade round, which began in Qatar in 2001, has suffered repeated setbacks as powerful emerging market nations have insisted on swingeing cuts in farm subsidies and tariffs by rich nations, notably the US, the EU and Japan. These latter nations have insisted that big trading nations in the developing world, such as Brazil, China and India must open their markets to Western manufactured goods as a quid pro quo for a deal on agriculture.

 

Barriers:

 

India has proved to be one of the toughest negotiators in the Doha round, refusing to give up the country's high trade barriers. India maintains some of the world's highest tariffs, arguing that its peasant farmers and emerging industries need protection from world markets.

 

 

Delivering on Doha: Farm Trade and the Poor

 

 

by Kimberly Ann Elliott

 

 

Agricultural market liberalization is essential in achieving a successful Doha Round agreement because these are the most protected markets remaining in most rich countries. But the implications for developing countries, especially the poorest, are more complex than the current debate suggests. This volume examines the structure of agricultural support in rich countries and explores the challenges as well as opportunities that developing countries might face if the Doha Round succeeds in reforming OECD agriculture policies.

 

 

1. Introduction

 

2. The Problem: Rich Countries Supporting Rich Farmers

 

3. Prospects for Reform: Lessons from US and European Experience

 

4. Opportunities and Challenges for Developing Countries

 

5. The Devil in the Doha Details

 

6. Delivering on Doha's Promise

 

 

 

Links from GloboTrends

 

  • Doha trade round [edit] Delivering on Doha: Farm Trade and the Poor by Kimberly Ann Elliott
  • TRIPS [edit] From Wikipedia: The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellect
  • WTO [edit] ! WTO an international organization designed to supervise and liberalize inte

 

  

 

  • Doha trade round [edit] Delivering on Doha: Farm Trade and the Poor by Kimberly Ann Elliott
  • TRIPS [edit] From Wikipedia: The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellect
  • WTO [edit] ! WTO an international organization designed to supervise and liberalize inte

 

 

 

 

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