Viewpoints Americas: The Future of Global Trade Liberalization: A Bleak Winter Ahead

    July 2006

    The World Trade Organization's (WTO) latest negotiations, known as the Doha Development Agenda, collapsed earlier last week as countries failed to agree on modalities for agricultural reform in the areas of market access, export subsidies and domestic programs. Although the agreement failed on these issues, there was also no underlying agreement on non-agricultural market access (industrial goods tariffs), and the offers on services liberalization were very limited.

    What does this collapse mean for business? More bilateral and regional free trade agreements are likely, a development that we at Squire Sanders are tracking closely through our free trade area (FTA) database. We are also likely to see a slight increase in WTO dispute settlement proceedings as countries seek to get more liberalization in litigation than they can get through negotiation.

    Reprinted with permission of the Americas Society - Council of the Americas.