chapter  7
34 Pages

Bilateral negotiations in a multilateral world: Implications for the WTO and global trade policy development


The WTO Doha Development Agenda has moved from initial hope in Doha Qatar, to fiasco in Cancun Mexico, to postponement in Hong Kong, to indecision in most of 2006, to finally, indefinite suspension. After almost five years of multilateral trade negotiations WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy formally suspended Doha talks on 24 July 2006 by stating: “There are no winners or losers in this assembly. Today there are only losers” (WTO 2006). Readers with a long memory will recall that this is not the first time multilateral talks have been suspended. The Uruguay round was essentially suspended by GATT Director-General Arthur Dunkel in the early 1990s followed by the production of the “Dunkel Draft,” which laid the foundation for concluding the GATT Uruguay round in December 1993. It is too soon to say if the Doha round is finished, but media reports immediately after suspension often quoted Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath who claimed the round is not dead but it is definitely between intensive care and the crematorium. Only time will tell ...