Doha Round of Wto Negotiations

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The Doha Round of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has sparked controversy, anger and even suicide from its commencement. This paper seeks to explore what is this Doha Round that has ignited such passionate displays from delegates and the common man alike, what are the issues at stake given the Round’s success or failure and finally, given the events that have marred its history to date and based on the many other factors in play, could the Doha Round come to a successful conclusion?

The WTO conducts negotiations through what they call ‘rounds’. The November 2001 declaration of the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, known as the Doha Development Round, provides the mandate for negotiations on a range of subjects. Its
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Unlike Seattle, the collapse of the talks in Cancun did not prevent the commencement of the second round of negotiations, this occurred in Geneva in 2004. The August Geneva talks achieved a framework agreement on opening global trade. At the Paris talks of 2005, negotiators wanted to make tangible progress before the December 2005 Hong Kong meeting. However, the talks were left hanging over a few issues which were viewed as small technical issues, making trade negotiators fear that agreement on large politically risky issues would be substantially harder.

December 13th - 18th 2005 marked the ministerial meeting which took place in Hong Kong. At this meeting representatives reached a deal that sets a deadline for eliminating subsidies of agricultural exports by 2013. July 2006 talks in Geneva once again set the DDA off-track as negotiators failed to reach an agreement about reducing farm subsidies and lowering import taxes. Negotiations were suspended on the 24th July 2006. At a conference at Potsdam in July 2007, a major impasse occurred between the US, the EU, India and Brazil. The major disagreement was over opening up agricultural and industrial markets in various countries and also how to cut rich nation farm subsidies.

Of the twenty-one mandates adopted in the Ministerial Declaration on 14 November 2001 at Doha, some have emerged
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