WTO: ingredients for salvaging the Doha Round (fisheries subsidies not included!)

Ujal Singh Bhatia, former India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO in Geneva has written on 10 May 2011 an interesting piece in Voxeu.org, a website on research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists. There is a link to it in my blog list.

To salvage Doha Mr Bathia suggests:

"Based on this broad understanding of the situation, a three pronged approach needs to be explored:
  • Seriously contentious issues like the Market Access issues, Agricultural Subsidies, and Rules may be segregated for continuing consultations under agreed terms of reference.
The segregated package has to be internally balanced to allow for incentives and trade offs for all players.
  • Stand alone agreements to be finalised on less contentious issues.
The areas for focus are fairly obvious to those close to the negotiations.1
  • The third component would be a Ministerial decision to initiate a work programme for institutional reform in the WTO."
Ujal Singh Bhatia © voxEU.org

The areas for focus arementioned in footnote 1 and they are the following:
"Specifically, Trade Facilitation, all aspects of Export Competition in Agriculture including Export Subsidies, Transparency Mechanism for RTA’s, LDC Waiver in Services, NTB’s package in NAMA, Ministerial decisions on Para 31(i) and 31(ii) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, Implementation of the Hong Kong decision on Duty Free Quota Free treatment for LDC’s, a Ministerial decision on the Monitoring Mechanism for S&D provisions, as well as a Ministerial Decision on the issues raised by the C-4 on Cotton."

It is interesting to see how this list compares with other lists, such as the one proposed by the US, which includes, next to trade facilitation, fisheries subsides or the liberalisation of trade in the so called "environmental goods" but no "cotton" or duty-free quota-free for LDC's.

Here is the link to the article:


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