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Who needs effective Doha negotiations, and why?

Conference contribution
Authors Erik Andersson
Published in Presentation 17 November 2010 at the 4th international biennale on commercial negotiation of Negocia, Paris
Publication year 2010
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Language en
Keywords förhandling, WTO, politisk ekonomi, internationell handel
Subject categories Economics, Peace and development research


The growth of world trade and the deepening of international interdependence indicate that the original aim of the GATT agreement is largely fulfilled. In the light of this success the economic need for a Doha round agreement, becomes less clear for the parties involved. This article makes an analysis of how countries construct and understand their need for this new WTO agreement, based on the reactions of the parties involved in the breakdown in the negotiations in Geneva 2008. As far as one can tell from a qualitative analysis of these reactions, the needs of the actors differ considerably. The LDCs need an agreement both politically and economically. For the USA and for the industrializing South the political need of the negotiations as such, outweigh the economic need of a final agreement. For the European Union, affirming the global institutional architecture in a conclusion of the Doha round seems to be more important than the possible economic gains from it. What further complicates negotiations is that the normative dimension of the DDA, which the parties use against each other, is part of the round without being on the table. This difference in actors’ needs and norms will most likely lower the effectiveness of the Doha negotiations. The global institutional need of the WTO makes countries continue negotiating, but most DDA-related needs of the participants are not on the agenda.

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