Can Doha Still Deliver on the Development Agenda?
Developing countries, especially the poorest, have the most at risk if the Doha Round is not wrapped up this year. If the multilateral negotiations languish, the recent trend toward bilateral and regional trade agreements will accelerate. These arrangements hurt the smallest and poorest countries the most, since they are often excluded. Developing countries would also lose the leverage they gain from negotiating as a group in the multilateral context. Proposals of particular interest to developing countries, including aid for trade and duty- and quota-free treatment for least-developed countries, might also be pulled off the table. Given their experience with the Uruguay Round, it is not surprising that developing countries are waiting for developed countries to offer serious reductions in agricultural protection before making serious offers on nonagricultural market access and services. But developing countries must move, and they must move now.