30 October, 2020

No, It's Not As Dead As Doha

Emerging nations gaining voice means the US has to yield a bit. The trade talks are still alive.

T. Narayan
No, It's Not As Dead As Doha
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
As the phrase "dead as Doha" became popular after a last-ditch effort to stitch up the latest round of WTO talks collapsed in Geneva last month, the US Congress seems to have succeeded in doing what thousands of anti-globalisation protesters failed to do so far: virtually bring down the multilateral trading system.

Commerce minister Kamal Nath described the Doha Development Round of trade talks, which started in November 2001 with a five-year programme, as "between intensive care and the crematorium". Efforts are on to restart the round after a 3-4 month break, but it is still seen as a failure. President George Bush's fast-track trade promotion authority expires July next, so there's too little time to cobble a deal among the fighting nations. Bush also renegotiates the five-yearly farm bill next year, virtually disabling him from cutting the contentious domestic agriculture subsidies.

With even the EU agreeing that the US is acting as the biggest institutional barrier to free trade, Kamal Nath is clear Washington has to move first...
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