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The WTO and the Doha Round : Walking on Two Legs

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  • Bernard Hoekman

Abstract

The Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations has been ongoing for 10 years, and given political cycles in major countries, there is not much hope for a rapid conclusion. The topics on the table are important, and in principle there is enough substance for all countries to gain from an agreement, but, unfortunately, too much emphasis has been placed on gains through market access alone. The Doha Round is about much more than market access. Concluding the talks arguably requires greater recognition of the value of trade policy disciplines that will be part of any agreement. The WTO is not just a market access negotiating forum; it is also a multilateral umbrella through which governments can agree on rules of the game for other trade-related policies. Given the slow progress of the Round, greater emphasis could be put on leveraging existing WTO bodies to enhance the transparency of nontariff measures, address regulatory concerns that impede liberalization of trade in services, and launch a dialogue on domestic economic policies that can create negative spillover effects for trading partners.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Other Operational Studies with number 10075.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wboper:10075

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Keywords: International Economics and Trade - Free Trade Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets International Economics and Trade - Trade Policy Private Sector Development - Emerging Markets Economic Theory and Research Macroeconomics and Economic Growth;

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  1. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2012. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," NBER Working Papers 17790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephen Redding, 2010. "Theories of heterogeneous firms and trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48908, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Hoekman, Bernard & Martin, Will & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2010. "Conclude Doha: It Matters!," CEPR Discussion Papers 7788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will, 2011. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Will Martin & Patrick Messerlin, 2007. "Why is it so difficult? Trade liberalization under the Doha Agenda," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 347-366, Autumn.
  6. Gootiiz, Batshur & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2009. "Services in Doha : what's on the table ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4903, The World Bank.
  7. Christian Broda & Joshua Greenfield & David Weinstein, 2006. "From Groundnuts to Globalization: A Structural Estimate of Trade and Growth," NBER Working Papers 12512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hoekman, Bernard M. & Kostecki, Michel M., 2009. "The Political Economy of the World Trading System," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780199553778.
  9. Laborde, David & Martin, Will & Van Der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 2012. "Implications of the Doha market access proposals for developing countries," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 1-25, January.
  10. Francois, Joseph F, 2001. "Trade Policy Transparency and Investor Confidence: Some Implications for an Effective Trade Policy Review Mechanism," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 303-16, May.
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