Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Doha

By May 22, 2008Trade

Looks like it’s setting, though. From Congress Daily, a generally skeptical piece about the benefits of the Doha round.

Prospects for a successful conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks continue to dwindle. New negotiating texts in agriculture and manufacturing have just been released, but are far from being agreed upon. As a result, a meeting of trade ministers to bless a formula for cutting tariffs will not take place before late June or might slip further.

The NAM issued a statement Tuesday from President John Engler on the latest text. Excerpt:

The new text is disappointing and is a step backward from the trade liberalization the world needs. Manufactured goods are 60 percent of world trade, services 20 percent, and agriculture only 7 percent (oil and raw materials are the rest). There cannot be a Doha Round without substantial trade liberalization in manufacturing and services, and the new text makes that liberalization more difficult than before.

High-tariff advanced developing nations such as China, India, and Brazil, have pressed hard to get a text aimed at obtaining major concessions from the United States and other industrial nations, while minimizing their own market openings. These countries, though, are the ones with the highest barriers to exports from the poorest countries. Unless they cut their barriers, the Doha Round can contribute little to global trade and development.

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