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Multilateralism beyond Doha

  • Mattoo, Aaditya
  • Subramanian, Arvind

There is a fundamental shift taking place in the world economy to which the multilateral trading system has failed to adapt. The Doha process focused on issues of limited significance while the burning issues of the day were not even on the negotiating agenda. This paper advances five propositions: (i) the traditional negotiating dynamic, driven by private sector interests largely in the rich countries, is running out of steam; (ii) the world economy is moving broadly from conditions of relative abundance to relative scarcity, and so economic security has become a paramount concern for consumers, workers, and ordinary citizens; (iii) international economic integration can contribute to enhanced security; (iv) addressing these new concerns - relating to food, energy, and economic security - requires a wider agenda of multilateral cooperation, involving not just the WTO but other multilateral institutions; and (v) despite shifts in economic power across countries, the commonality of interests and scope for give-and-take on these new issues make multilateral cooperation worth attempting.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4735.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4735
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  1. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  2. Luci Ellis & Kathryn Smith, 2010. "The Global Upward Trend in the Profit Share," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 56(3), pages 231-256.
  3. Mitchell, Donald, 2008. "A note on rising food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4682, The World Bank.
  4. Francois, Joseph F. & Martin, Will, 2004. "Commercial policy variability, bindings, and market access," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 665-679, June.
  5. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Yee Wong & Ketki Sheth, 2006. "US-China Trade Disputes: Rising Tides Rising Stakes," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa78, 03.
  6. Aaditya Mattoo & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Currency Undervaluation and Sovereign Wealth Funds: A New Role for the World Trade Organization," Working Paper Series WP08-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  7. Gootiiz, Batshur & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2009. "Services in Doha : what's on the table ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4903, The World Bank.
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