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Will long awaited WTO deal be ‘Doha-lite’?

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Tweleve years ago, negotiations first began in Doha, Qata to further liberalize trade rules around the world. On Monday, or perhaps even as early as Sunday, The Financial Times reports that the World Trade Organization could announce a the first global trade deal in over 10 years. The agenda isn’t as ambitious as it was over a decade ago — some are calling it “Doha-lite.”

Shawn Donnan, world trade editor at The Financial Times, explains the significance of the trade pact this way:

“So, the big effort to push through something that in WTO jargon is called ‘trade facilitation.’ It’s a really awful name for something that’s quite simple. It’s reducing red tape and borders around the world. That’s a big deal for business around the world. There’s a lot people out there who are saying this could add as much as a trillion dollars in trade to the global economy.”

While the potential boom to the world economy has many excited about the deal, Donnan says there’s a reason it’s critics are calling it “Doha-lite.” 

“They weren’t really having a bigger discussion about the world of agriculture. And that is in the past what has really hung things up. The developing world hates the way the Europeans and the Americans subsidize farmers and really protect the farming sectors. And, from their prospective, keep the markets closed to the outside world. And, they really want to open that up.”

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