Figuring Out the Doha Round

Stuart E. Eizenstat, Covington & Burling LLP
Carla A. Hills, Hills & Company
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Peterson Institute
Jeffrey J. Schott, Peterson Institute
Clayton Yeutter, former United States Trade Representative
Woan Foong Wong, Peterson Institute

Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC

June 24, 2010

To help inform the policy debate on the WTO talks, the Peterson Institute released an important new study, Figuring Out the Doha Round, at an event on June 24, 2010. Authors Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, and Woan Foong Wong presented their findings and policy recommendations. Former United States Trade Representatives Carla A. Hills and Clayton Yeutter along with Stuart E. Eizenstat, Covington & Burling LLP, offered comments on both the substantive content of the talks and the systemic implications of the Doha Round's success or failure.

The Doha Round is already the longest running multilateral trade negotiation in the postwar era and the end is not yet in sight. Some question the value of a prospective deal; others wonder whether an agreement is still possible. Figuring Out the Doha Round contains detailed estimates of the potential trade and GDP gains from what is already "on the table" in the negotiations as well as of the additional steps needed to extend those results and thus promote a successful conclusion. The authors conclude that the gains from reductions in farm tariffs and subsidies, and industrial tariffs, while significant, are not ambitious nor balanced enough to garner political support in some major economies. To break the impasse, they argue that the G-20 countries need to "top up" their current offers and immediately engage in concrete request/offer negotiations to liberalize barriers to trade in services. With enhanced offers by those key countries, the study calculates that a Doha Round accord could yield potential annual world output gains of between $160 billion and $280 billion.

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