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After the Collapse of Doha: Analyzing the Failure

Don't cry for Doha

Will they or won’t they? Will the world’s trade ministers eventually sign a new multilateral trade agreement that reduces agricultural subsidies and industrial tariffs, or will they walk away empty-handed? The saga has been ongoing since November 2001, when the current round of negotiations was launched in Doha, Qatar, with numerous subsequent ups and downs, near-collapses, and extensions. By Dany Rodrik
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Why WTO talks collapsed

After the collapse of the World Trade Organisation’s mini-Ministerial talks in Geneva, government officials and the Secretariat are picking up the pieces so as to save the Doha negotiations or at least salvage some parts of it. They are still recovering from the shock of the breakdown of the talks that took place on July 29 after a roller-coaster nine days.Many delegates expressed regret at the failure. By Martin Khor
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It was cotton subsidies, stupid!

In an editorial entitled 'The Next Step for World Trade' (Aug 2, 2008), the New York Times wrote: "The battle lines for the new world order were exposed at the World Trade Organization this week. The breakdown of the Doha round of trade negotiations over a clash between the United States and China and India about farm protection underscores how these new economic giants are changing the balance of power."
By Devinder Sharma
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Bank the progress made

The Geneva talks may have failed, but it's important that Doha carries on – and that rich countries make some real sacrifices. Watching Peter Mandelson appear on Newsnight last night I have to agree with David Cronin that I almost felt sorry for him. He looked very tired. And he was much less bullish than usual, admitting that he had "some sympathy" with developing countries' requests for flexibility on agriculture and declining to enter into the usual blame game. By Amy Barry
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One cheer for global trade talks

Trade ministers failed again this week to agree on the main terms of a new global trade regime. These officials have assembled most summers for the past five years, each time on the premise that a deal was urgent and within grasp. To add pressure, pundits and some leaders claimed each time that a failure to reach consensus would put the entire global trading system at risk. Each year the ministers failed, and each year trade expanded nonetheless. By Sandra Polasky
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Doha collapse won't mean suffering for the poor

At the heart of the collapse of the World Trade Organisation’s Doha Round last week are the different opinions on liberalisation and its relation to development. Developed countries promote the idea that liberalisation will bring about development and thus that the failure of the Round constitutes a blow for the poor. By Aileen Kwa
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A bad deal all round

Last minute talks on global trade policy at the World Trade Organization in Geneva this week came close to agreement - but no cigars were lit. For talks that started in 2001, rich country negotiators lost sight of the fact that the round was supposed to be a "development" round to help lift standards of living among the world's poor. This week's proposals by the US and its partners pulled development out of the equation, and subsequently pulled the rug on the round, at least for now.
By Timothy Wise and Kevin Gallagher
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Doha: Close, but not enough

For the third summer in a row, a push for breakthrough WTO accords on agriculture and manufacturing trade has ended in failure. The collapse of talks among trade ministers on 29 July makes it virtually impossible for governments to conclude a deal in the Doha Round of trade talks in the foreseeable future. The road ahead for the multilateral trade negotiations is uncertain, with elections in the US this fall and India next year. By ICTSD
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Quality of Aid: It's the Donors, Stupid! / African Despotism and European Double Standards


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