Credibility of WTO at stake with proliferation of bilateral trade deals: Jagdish Bhagwati

Says it is crucial that WTO retains its stature as a credible platform

Even as trade ministers from 159-member countries are going to meet in order to hammer out a global trade deal in Bali in less than a week, the proliferation of several bilateral and regional trade agreements might weaken the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an institution that monitors multilateralism, according to renowned trade economist and professor of economics and law at Columbia University Jagdish Bhagwati.

Bhagwati has stressed on that fact that while both the developed as well as developing countries have failed to push the Doha round of global trade talks forward, which began in 2001, it is crucial that retains its stature as a credible platform for conducting a rules-based trading system and resolution of trade disputes.

In an article – Dawn of a New System – published in Finance and Development, a quarterly publication of the International Monetary Fund, Bhagwati has underscored the challenges the new chief of WTO, Roberto Azevedo, faces at a time when gigantic trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP led by the US and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP led by the European Union (EU) is taking shape gradually.

These agreements, though they are at a nascent stage presently, have indicated rewriting global trading norms much beyond what is laid out under the WTO. But these will, nevertheless, result in killing the Doha round of talks. Bhagwati stresses that this will lead in diminishing WTO’s role in rule making and settling trade disputes.

Hence, he suggests in what he refers to as ‘Doha Lite and Decaffeinated’, to agree to a slimmed down version of the proposed global trade deal during the ministerial conference in Bali next week.  According to Bhagwati, this could be the only solution to salvage WTO. This is because declaring Doha dead would mean losing even some of the small benefits that could have been obtained that might be beneficial for some of the least developed countries.

image
Business Standard
177 22
Business Standard

Credibility of WTO at stake with proliferation of bilateral trade deals: Jagdish Bhagwati

Says it is crucial that WTO retains its stature as a credible platform

Nayanima Basu  |  New Delhi 

Jagdish Bhagwati
Jagdish Bhagwati

Even as trade ministers from 159-member countries are going to meet in order to hammer out a global trade deal in Bali in less than a week, the proliferation of several bilateral and regional trade agreements might weaken the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an institution that monitors multilateralism, according to renowned trade economist and professor of economics and law at Columbia University Jagdish Bhagwati.

Bhagwati has stressed on that fact that while both the developed as well as developing countries have failed to push the Doha round of global trade talks forward, which began in 2001, it is crucial that retains its stature as a credible platform for conducting a rules-based trading system and resolution of trade disputes.



In an article – Dawn of a New System – published in Finance and Development, a quarterly publication of the International Monetary Fund, Bhagwati has underscored the challenges the new chief of WTO, Roberto Azevedo, faces at a time when gigantic trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP led by the US and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP led by the European Union (EU) is taking shape gradually.

These agreements, though they are at a nascent stage presently, have indicated rewriting global trading norms much beyond what is laid out under the WTO. But these will, nevertheless, result in killing the Doha round of talks. Bhagwati stresses that this will lead in diminishing WTO’s role in rule making and settling trade disputes.

Hence, he suggests in what he refers to as ‘Doha Lite and Decaffeinated’, to agree to a slimmed down version of the proposed global trade deal during the ministerial conference in Bali next week.  According to Bhagwati, this could be the only solution to salvage WTO. This is because declaring Doha dead would mean losing even some of the small benefits that could have been obtained that might be beneficial for some of the least developed countries.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Credibility of WTO at stake with proliferation of bilateral trade deals: Jagdish Bhagwati

Says it is crucial that WTO retains its stature as a credible platform

Even as trade ministers from 159-member countries are going to meet in order to hammer out a global trade deal in Bali in less than a week, the proliferation of several bilateral and regional trade agreements might weaken the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an institution that monitors multilateralism, according to renowned trade economist and professor of economics and law at Columbia University Jagdish Bhagwati. Even as trade ministers from 159-member countries are going to meet in order to hammer out a global trade deal in Bali in less than a week, the proliferation of several bilateral and regional trade agreements might weaken the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an institution that monitors multilateralism, according to renowned trade economist and professor of economics and law at Columbia University Jagdish Bhagwati.

Bhagwati has stressed on that fact that while both the developed as well as developing countries have failed to push the Doha round of global trade talks forward, which began in 2001, it is crucial that retains its stature as a credible platform for conducting a rules-based trading system and resolution of trade disputes.

In an article – Dawn of a New System – published in Finance and Development, a quarterly publication of the International Monetary Fund, Bhagwati has underscored the challenges the new chief of WTO, Roberto Azevedo, faces at a time when gigantic trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP led by the US and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP led by the European Union (EU) is taking shape gradually.

These agreements, though they are at a nascent stage presently, have indicated rewriting global trading norms much beyond what is laid out under the WTO. But these will, nevertheless, result in killing the Doha round of talks. Bhagwati stresses that this will lead in diminishing WTO’s role in rule making and settling trade disputes.

Hence, he suggests in what he refers to as ‘Doha Lite and Decaffeinated’, to agree to a slimmed down version of the proposed global trade deal during the ministerial conference in Bali next week.  According to Bhagwati, this could be the only solution to salvage WTO. This is because declaring Doha dead would mean losing even some of the small benefits that could have been obtained that might be beneficial for some of the least developed countries.
image
Business Standard
177 22

Upgrade To Premium Services

Welcome User

Business Standard is happy to inform you of the launch of "Business Standard Premium Services"

As a premium subscriber you get an across device unfettered access to a range of services which include:

  • Access Exclusive content - articles, features & opinion pieces
  • Weekly Industry/Genre specific newsletters - Choose multiple industries/genres
  • Access to 17 plus years of content archives
  • Set Stock price alerts for your portfolio and watch list and get them delivered to your e-mail box
  • End of day news alerts on 5 companies (via email)
  • NEW: Get seamless access to WSJ.com at a great price. No additional sign-up required.
 

Premium Services

In Partnership with

 

Dear Guest,

 

Welcome to the premium services of Business Standard brought to you courtesy FIS.
Kindly visit the Manage my subscription page to discover the benefits of this programme.

Enjoy Reading!
Team Business Standard