1 Jun 2011
The Doha trade talks are grinding to a slow halt and might soon be declared dead.
When this round of trade negotiations was launched in Doha, Qatar, about a decade ago, It was called the "development round" and the promise was that the rules would benefit the least developed countries in the world of trade and that other developing countries including emerging markets would not have to take the same market opening steps as developed nations.
After ten years, the Doha talks are stalling, largely because rich countries continue to push for further liberalization of markets in the developing world.
Timothy Wise, director of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University in the US, says that the problem with the Doha round of trade negotiations is that they are having a largely irrelevant discussion about what the solution is for leveling the playing field in multilateral trade negotiations.
The Doha round has been left talking about liberalization when in fact the world is suffering from too much liberalization and they (the WTO) have just become largely irrelevant to the discussion.
The financial crisis was largely the product of deregulation and yet here are the Doha negotiators, from the US and Europe, talking about trying to get further financial liberalization in developing countries.
Moreover, the food crisis is ravaging many developing countries who have lost their ability to grow their own food as imports have flooded in under the current trade rules and what are they talking about the Doha negotiations? More liberalization.