Multilateral Trade System
The twists and turns of the Doha talks and the WTO
By Martin Khor
Welcome to this session on Doha and the Multilateral Trading System – From Impasse to development? which the South Centre is pleased to co-organise.
This session aims to look at what the future holds for the WTO, in particular in relation to the development dimension, and the interests of the developing countries.
After the Uruguay Round, the developing countries went into a mood of reflection because many of them were not active in the negotiations and did not fully understand what they had signed on to or the implications. So for a number of years after 1995, for the developing countries, their priority in the WTO was to understand the obligations they had entered into and the problems of implementation, particularly in new issues such as TRIPS, Services, TRIMS which they had been obliged to take on as new obligations, in exchange for the re-entering of agriculture and textiles into the GATT system. And to get the WTO to review and possibly reform its rules.
Towards an alternative narrative for the multilateral trading system
By Faizel Ismail
This presentation will argue that the recent attempts by some policy makers to use the concept of Global Value Chains (GVCs) to make a case for increased trade liberalization is deeply flawed for three reasons: First because it attempts to bring back the notion of a self-regulating market that is disembedded from society and divorced from the asymmetries in economic power that characterize today’s interdependent global economy; Second, because it attempts to revive the discredited Washington Consensus; and third because it does not provide a framework for helping developing economies develop beyond their current comparative advantages. Consequently, this approach to trade liberalization we will argue is a false basis to re-invigorate the current Doha round and to deal with the crisis in multilateralism. We will attempt to provide an alternative and more sustainable basis to rebuild the multilateral trading system.
Current issues in the WTO negotiations: a development view
By Jayant Dasgupta
Transcript of remarks of Ambassador Jayant Dasgupta, Permanent Representative of India to the World Trade Organization made at the WTO Public Forum session on Doha and the Multilateral Trade System: From Impasse to Development? on 26 September.