Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Former USTR on the Doha Round

. Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Charlene Barshefsky, who served as the USTR under the Clinton administration, discusses the prospects for the Doha Round and offers a few criticisms of the WTO process.

The most interesting bit: "If I might quote former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, who now heads the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, what the world ought to do is “save the WTO from Doha” and rounds like it. The biggest risk, in my view, to the WTO is actually not in a failure of Doha. It is in the irrelevance of the WTO as globalization proceeds at breakneck speed, followed only slowly by the WTO. It’s not leading. It does, as I said, provide the baseline, but not the genuine impetus toward globalization. The longer the time-spread between global developments and WTO agreements, the less relevant the WTO will become."

As a corrective, she proposes shifting away from discrete bargaining rounds to a continuous bargaining process in which governments negotiate single sector (single dimension bargaining in the language we used in class). It is not obvious to me how shifting from integrative bargaining to distributive bargaining is more likely to yield results.

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Former USTR on the Doha Round
 
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