The WTO and Its Institutional Impediments

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2007-46

Melbourne Journal of International Law, Vol. 8, pp. 198-232, 2007

35 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2007

See all articles by Bryan Christopher Mercurio

Bryan Christopher Mercurio

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law; University of New South Wales - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The latest round of multilateral trade negotiations — the Doha Round — initiated a comprehensive negotiating round set out in a complex structure. At the same time, this Round focused attention on a 'development agenda', all as part of a 'single undertaking' with an ambitious three year deadline. The negotiations were troubled from the start and there are not many signs that agreement will be reached anytime soon. Given the long standing impasse, the time is now ripe to begin evaluating and understanding how the Doha Round negotiations became a seemingly endless charade and why the possibility of a substantial and workable agreement continues to elude WTO Members. This commentary attempts to address these questions by providing the background and timeline to the Doha Round before briefly discussing some of the differing negotiating positions and preferred outcomes of the major Members and negotiating coalitions. While the negotiating positions differ widely on a number of issues, this commentary concludes that more systemic institutional impediments exist, which not only hinder the successful conclusion of the Doha Round, but also prevent effective long-term institutional governance and vision.

Keywords: World Trade Organization, multilateral trade, trade negotiations, Doha Round

JEL Classification: K33, 019

Suggested Citation

Mercurio, Bryan Christopher, The WTO and Its Institutional Impediments. UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2007-46; Melbourne Journal of International Law, Vol. 8, pp. 198-232, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1000299

Bryan Christopher Mercurio (Contact Author)

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

6/F Western Teaching Complex
Shatin, New Territories
Hong Kong
(852) 2696 1139 (Phone)

University of New South Wales - Faculty of Law

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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