Thursday, October 8, 2009

Agreement in the Doha WTO talks in 2010: Wishful thinking?

Recently it has again become fashionable for many political leaders, alone, during bilateral meetings or in groups (eg G20) to declare their support and intent for a conclusion of the current round of trade talks that was kicked off by the so called Doha Declaration in 2001.

While not an expert on trade, I have been keeping up with the news reports and analyses re the talks since at least 2003 and the failed WTO Ministerial Conferences in Cancun, Hong Kong, Geneva, etc over the years since.

A few comments - observations:

1) After so many failed attempts, one can ask whether there is something fundamentally - systemically faulty in the method WTO Doha has been - is being negotiated.

2) Has the US Congress granted Obama the Fast Track trade negotiating authority (TPA)? Bush's expired July 1, 2007. With Fast Track the US President can negotiate trade agreements that Congress can approve or reject but cannot amend. Without .....

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