Doha Development Round

05 Mar 2016

The Doha Development Round or Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is the current trade-negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which commenced in November 2001 under then director-general Mike Moore. Its objective is to lower trade barriers around the world, and thus facilitate increased global trade.

The Doha Round began with a ministerial-level meeting in Doha, Qatar in 2001. Subsequent ministerial meetings took place in Cancún, Mexico (2003), and Hong Kong (2005). Related negotiations took place in Paris, France (2005), Potsdam, Germany (2007), and Geneva, Switzerland (2004, 2006, 2008);

  1. Progress in negotiations stalled after the breakdown of the July 2008 negotiations over disagreements concerning agriculture, industrial tariffs and non-tariff barriers, services, and trade remedies.
  2. The most significant differences are between developed nations led by the European Union (EU), the United States (USA), and Japan and the major developing countries led and represented mainly by India, Brazil, China, and South Africa.
  3. There is also considerable contention against and between the EU and the USA over their maintenance of agricultural subsidies—seen to operate effectively as trade barriers

Since the breakdown of negotiations in 2008, there have been repeated attempts to revive the talks, so far without success. Intense negotiations, mostly between the USA, China, and India, were held at the end of 2008 seeking agreement on negotiation modalities, an impasse which was not resolved. In April 2011, then director-general Pascal Lamy "asked members to think hard about 'the consequences of throwing away ten years of solid multilateral work'." A report to the WTO General Council by Lamy in May 2012 advocated "small steps, gradually moving forward the parts of the Doha Round which were mature, and re-thinking those where greater differences remained." Adoption of the Bali Ministerial Declaration on 7 December 2013[6] for the first time successfully addressed bureaucratic barriers to commerce—a small part of the Doha Round agenda. However, as of January 2014, the future of the Doha Round remains uncertain.

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