The Doha Development Agenda at a Crossroads: What Are the Remaining Obstacles to the Conclusion of the Round – Part III?
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Following the inability of countries to resolve the outstanding negotiating issues in 2010, there was the widespread expectation that the modalities for agriculture and NAMA would be agreed before the summer of 2011, paving the way for the conclusion of the Doha Round in December 2011 when the WTO is scheduled to hold its Eighth Ministerial Conference. The view that the Round had to be concluded in 2011 was primarily because of the belief that it would be difficult to get the United States to engage in an election year (2012), meaning that the only possibility would be in 2013 and beyond. With the possibility that Members would lose interest and abandon the negotiations, the year started with a flurry of meetings. The initial signs were encouraging, as all the key players engaged bilaterally and plurilaterally to resolve the outstanding issues. The progress made in these negotiations led to the belief that revised texts could probably be produced before the Easter break, with the remaining issues resolved before the Ministerial meeting. In his statement to the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) on 2 February 2011, DG Lamy observed that “the change of gear and approach is detectable in both legs of the negotiating process, i.e. in the Negotiating Groups as well as in the bilateral and plurilateral consultations”. The progress made was evident in the genuine search for compromises. Members focused, inter alia, on textual proposals to bridge differences and remove square-bracketed texts.
KeywordsDispute Settlement Export Subsidy Geographical Indication Doha Round Trade Facilitation
The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and should not in any way be attributed to the WTO. Helpful comments were provided by Kofi Amenyah and Kofi Kusi Achampong.