Business Briefs


The Demise of Doha: The End of the Multilateral Trading System?

Since the end of the Second World War, successive rounds of multilateral trade negotiations have succeeded in reducing global tariff barriers and helped to establish the foundations of today's interconnected, global economy. Indeed, the rapid growth of trade and prosperity the world has experienced over the last half century would have been unthinkable without broad international support for the rules of this system. However, with the collapse of the latest round of multilateral trade negotiations the Doha Development Round in July 2006, and the turn of both the United States and the European Union towards bilateral rather than multilateral trading arrangements, the future of the global trading systems appears to be challenged. This brief will assess the underlying reasons for the collapse of the Doha Development Round and speculate on the future impact its collapse might have on the multilateral trading system.

  • A Short History of the Multilateral Trading System
  • The Doha Development Agenda: Progress of Negotiations
  • The European Union: The End of the Lamy Doctrine?
  • The United States: Competitive Liberalization or Bilateralism?
  • Conclusion

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