L'OMC face à la crise des négociations multilatérales
The latest WTO Round launched in Doha in 2001 has once again stalled. Even if an agreement were reached it is not certain it would be ratified by the US Congress. The latest delay is due in part to the changing economic context in which the negotiations are taking place, some of which changes are due to decisions made during the course of the negotiations. Governments and public opinion are increasingly in favor of bilateral negotiations in which it is possible to include new subjects rejected in the Doha multilateral negotiations. These include rules on labor and environmental standards, compe-tition policy, investment, and government procurement. The assertiveness of emerging economies has upset the co-leadership positions of the US and the EU and argues for a new, as yet-to-be determined, negotiating process. The latest economic crisis has raised question about the objectives of the agriculture negotiations and has revealed the difficulties faced by an organization that thinks long-term of adapting to changes in the short term. This paper’s recommendations are aimed at improving the ability of the WTO to operate under current conditions and advocates the inclusion of new negotiating topics. If the principle of decision by consensus is not revised the rush to bilateralism is likely to continue, which is dangerous because of its discriminatory character.
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