Doha: The Low Hanging Fruit

By Gurría, Angel | International Trade Forum, July 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

Doha: The Low Hanging Fruit


Gurría, Angel, International Trade Forum


Finishing the Doha trade round is the simplest way to boost the global economy and benefit the developing world. But it will take bold, enlightened leaders in developed and developing countries to do so.

I am in contact with leaders and officials both from the world's most developed nations and from developing countries. When the Doha development round talks collapsed in July, I was struck by the gap between what officials say when they meet at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris and how they define their positions in the World Trade Organization talks in Geneva.

Opportunity to progress

The Doha Development Agenda is an opportunity to rebalance trade rules in favour of developing countries while boosting the world economy. The Doha talks reportedly collapsed largely because of disagreements over agriculture, but clearly that is not the whole story. Indeed, some rich countries were not ready to accept larger tariffcuts or bigger reductions in trade-distorting domestic subsidies for farm products. Emerging market countries, meanwhile, offered what some saw as only modest improvements in market access for goods and services.

The present impasse is a lose-lose situation, in which all countries suffer but where the poorest will suffer most. The OECD has estimated at nearly $100 billion the gains in terms of increased economic activity - and hence prosperity - that could be obtained from full tariff liberalization for industrial and agricultural goods. The benefits from liberalizing trade in services - the fastestgrowing sector of the world economy - could be five times higher, at around $500 billion. A Doha agreement on trade facilitation, by clearing away procedural barriers, could contribute at least $100 billion more. Developing countries are projected to reap as much as two-thirds of these gains.

The failure of Doha would mean that these benefits are lost. More importantly, it risks undermining the multilateral trading system and unleashing a wave of protectionism that reasonable politicians will find hard to counter.

Support for weaker nations

Trade has been a powerful engine of growth in the past 50 years, contributing to lift millions out of poverty. But trade liberalization causes short-term pain, as some countries and workers face disproportionate adjustment costs. Open markets, supported by policies which facilitate adjustment, are crucial to ensure that those who suffer short-term losses can also participate in the overall benefits of globalization.

The multilateral trading system plays an essential function in this regard, defending and promoting the interests of all trading nations. By building on the principles of national treatment and non-discrimination, the WTO provides a forum for negotiating. By providing recourse in cases of violations, it embodies a rules-based system that helps international trade work as an engine of growth and development.

The alternative to a Doha agreement is bleak. There is a danger that the WTO will proceed by litigation instead of legislation, that dispute settlement will take the place of rule-making. Existing distortions to trade and economic activity could become entrenched, making it increasingly difficult for developing countries to compete fairly in world markets. Bilateral and regional trade deals would proliferate. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Doha: The Low Hanging Fruit
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.