Why the WTO Doha Round talks have collapsed – and a path forward:
To date, most press coverage of the Doha Round collapse has focused on the blame game – which countries’ failure to make specific agricultural concessions is to blame. But the under-recognized, but extremely important story is that the underlying cause of the breakdown is the growing rejection of the WTO, and more broadly of the corporate-led globalization model, by many people worldwide based on this model’s effects on their lives. Poor countries that have achieved economic growth – Argentina, Argentina, and China – did so by not following WTO policies. The ‘loss’ of Doha is in fact a gain. World Bank research reveals that under the ”likely” Doha scenario, the Middle East, Bangladesh, much of Africa and (notably) Mexico would actually face net losses. Alleged gains that are projected to accrue to Brazil and India would be largely concentrated in those countries’ agribusiness and manufacturing industries respectively, while subsistence farmers – a much, much larger percentage of those populations – would see tiny gains or net losses. The focus of energy now should be on how the world’s governments can develop a multilateral trade system that preserves the benefits of trade for growth and development, while pruning away the many anti-democratic constraints on domestic policy making contained in the existing WTO rules. Read the full article by Lori Wallach and Deborah James at the Common Dreams News Center.
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