The Doha Round's Trade Negotiations

976 Words Feb 17th, 2018 4 Pages
After more than a decade there is still no agreement over the extent of patent protection that should be afforded to pharmaceuticals. The shadow of the future adds additional complications, as the involved parties have no reason to settle now, when they can wait and hope for more favorable terms in the future. Despite this looming threat, the future holds promise for a drug access settlement. As technology improves and trade agreements become more ubiquitous, it will create a larger zone of agreement between the parties, making it easier to settle the dispute.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a plurilateral body of 159 countries dedicated to the liberalization of world trade. Countries that ascend to the WTO agree to provisions that all other members have already agreed to, including like the reduction of tariffs, non-discrimination, transparency, and reciprocity. Consensus is difficult between 159 countries, and so agreements can be hard to reach. This consensus has been especially difficult during the Doha round. Opened in 2001, talks have been stalled over disagreements between countries, chiefly over intellectual property protections. Without an agreement, the WTO is forced into a stagnant role until the negotiations are completed.
A consensus on intellectual property protections is difficult because there are a lot of relevant actors involved in negotiations with…
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