B. Revive trade liberalization

Completing the Doha Agenda would give a boost to the world economy and enhance the recovery from the financial crisis. As WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has explained, the Doha Round can ‘deliver a very welcome stimulus package to the world economy... [o]ne that does not have to be financed out of national treasuries’.[1] Unfortunately, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk has not skillfully engaged in unblocking the current impasse at the WTO.

One possible approach would be to transform the Doha Agenda into a true development round,[2] and have the advanced economies swear off any expectation of obtaining liberalization among themselves. Instead they could join together in offering significant concessions to help low-income countries. In my view, it would be easier to ratify a trade negotiation in the USA that delivers little to US exporters because it is not intended to do so, than to ratify a trade negotiation that is advertised as helping US exporters when in fact it would not.

  • [1] Speech of Director-General Lamy, ‘Drivers of Sustainable Growth’, G-20 Business Summit,Toronto, 26 June 2010, (visited 17September 2010).
  • [2] See Faizel Ismail, Reforming the World Trade Organization: Developing Countries in the DohaRound (Jaipur: CUTS, 2009) 120—1, 154.
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