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WTO: The round that “no one knows how to end”

By Michael Cebon | February 24, 2009

For those interested in what is going on at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) while the financial crisis is hogging all the headline space in the business pages, the answer is: not a lot.

But the Third World Network published an interesting historical analysis of the so-called “Doha Development Round” a couple of weeks ago.

The article gives a good overview of some interesting WTO history, concluding that

Some of the most malignant features of the international trading system in recent years have gone undiscussed. In particular, as promoted at the WTO, under the banner of “free trade”, the neo-mercantilist interests of the US and EU have been sought to be advanced, and has repeatedly met with rebuffs from the majority of the membership.

With the US and the EU unwilling to reduce their heavy subsidies to the agriculture sector, but wanting market opening in developing countries for their agriculture products and exports, as well as drastic tariff cuts in industrial tariffs in the major developing countries, and on top of it for “zero tariffs” in sectors where the US has the dominant advantage, the Doha negotiations have reached an impasse.

Topics: Global Economics, WTO | Comments Off

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