Trade, Law and Development, Vol 4, No 2 (2012)

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Doha Round Negotiations: Problems, Potential Outcomes and Possible Implications

Surendra Bhandari


The flawed Doha Round is mired in two fundamental problems. First, it has fallen victim to key players’ reluctance to liberalise trade further. Second, the methodology that has been applied is faulty, legitimising the widespread departure from the original purpose and legal framework of the WTO. This has ushered in a fragmented regime in the WTO domain. As a result, there seems to be three possible outcomes for the Doha Round: an unfortunate death, a partial conclusion, or a conclusion with pervasive divergences and fragmentation. All three possibilities may make the WTO yield to protectionist pressures, with sweeping implications for the multilateral trade regime. Against this backdrop, this article analyses the nature of the Doha Round Negotiations; its potential outcomes, and possible implications for the multilateral trading system. The article examines various means to prevent the WTO from losing its credibility as a negotiating forum, and suggests improvements in negotiation methodology to conclude the Doha Round successfully in the future.

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ISSN: 0976-2329 | eISSN: 0975-3346 | © 2009-13 Trade, Law and Development |   open access

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