What’s on the Table? The Doha Round as of August 2009
The Doha Round is the longest-running trade liberalization negotiation in the postwar era. Despite its longevity, the end is not yet in sight as parties disagree on the depth of liberalization necessary in agriculture and nonagricultural market access (NAMA). This rift is prolonging the Round's completion and hindering the discussion of other important issues on the negotiating agenda, particularly services. To shed light on the debate concerning the benefits from Doha, this paper first estimates, using three metrics, the potential gains from liberalization in agriculture and NAMA resulting from the specific "modalities" set forth in papers drafted by the chairs of the Doha negotiating groups. Next, the study estimates the benefits that could result from sector initiatives in chemicals, electronic/electrical goods, and environmental goods that go beyond the tariff cuts outlined in the negotiating modalities. Finally, prospective gains from liberalization of services barriers and improvements in trade facilitation are also analyzed. Overall, we estimate that the boost to global exports from concluding the Doha Round could range between $180 billion and $520 billion annually. Likewise, the potential GDP gains are significant, between $300 billion and $700 billion annually, and well balanced between developed and developing countries.
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