What's Up With Doha?
What’s Up With Doha? I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Trade. It has been going on since man first ventured out from his own cave. I have something you want and you have something I want. As long as the trade is equal and agreeable then it is beneficial. Well now rich nations have lost confidence in the capacity of the World Trade Organization Doha Round to produce a global trade agreement. That was the message delivered by trade ministers from the U.S., E-U, and Australia at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that explains the recent uptick in bilateral and regional trade deals.
KIRK: In the short term I think you’re going to see more and more countries turn to bilateral regional engagements because of the difficulty of finding consensus among 153 vary diverse economies.
WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy acknowledged that a successful conclusion of the Doha Round talks was still several years off. But he questioned the value of trade liberalization through bilateral and regional negotiations.
LAMY: With all these bilateral trade agreements all over the place, not more than 15% will trade is defacto regulated by bilateral agreements. Why? Because business is reluctant to enter into the preference game in that it implies certificates of origin, red tape.
Kirk, meanwhile, said Washington was counting on the WTO to compel China to live up to its market access obligations.
KIRK: We did not want a trade war with China. China has very quickly become one of our top 4 trading partners, it is our number one agricultural trading partner. We think it is a great thing that China has gone through the explosive growth that it has, that’s why we invited them into the World Trade Organization. That’s how we credential trade but it doesn’t work if you only take from the system and believe you deprive the rest of us the access to the markets that we so freely grant yours.
The World Economic Forum recently wrapped up with some 260 sessions on everything from the Secrets of the Universe to Fixing Capitalism.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.