World Trade Law after Doha: Multilateral, Regional and National Approaches
36 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 9, 2012
After ten years the Doha Development Round is effectively dead, at least in its present form. A broadly comprehensive round of trade negotiations reminiscent of Doha or the Uruguay Round will not likely be attempted again in the foreseeable future. While some have suggested that Doha’s demise threatens the continued existence of the GATT/WTO system, even with some risks of increasing protectionism the United States, the European Union (EU), Japan, Brazil, China and India, among others, have far too much to lose to make abandoning the WTO a rational option. If there is reason for cautious optimism post-Doha it is because there are alternatives to a comprehensive package of new or amended multilateral agreements. They include existing and future “plurilateral” trade agreements, new or revised regional trade agreements (RTAs) covering both goods and services, and liberalized national trade laws and regulations in the WTO member nations. This article discusses the alternatives, which while less than ideal may provide an impetus for continuing trade liberalization both among specific countries and in some instances world-wide.
Keywords: Doha, World Trade Organization, WTO, GATT, trade agreements
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