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Doha Round and Its Role for Trade Negotiations Essay

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Updated: Jan 26th, 2021

Introduction

There are many effective organizations and agreements that play an important role in the development of the global economy. People want to achieve the same standards and find out the required portion of financial support in order to develop good international relations. One of such agreements may be discussed in terms of the Doha Round. The Doha Round is the well-known trade negotiations among the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Among the variety of goals and effects of the round, the most evident is the possibility to create an international trading system that promotes low trade barriers and definite trade rules according to which the countries are able to cooperate. The importance of the Doha Round is evident: these negotiations help to reduce trade tariffs and resist the standards offered by a fast-developing world. Not many developing countries are able to overcome the barriers and undergo a number of challenges. The current essay is developed to give the answer to one simple question, what the essence of the Doha Round is and if it is effective in terms of the global economic issues. The Doha Round is important for the trade negotiations and cannot be neglected by the developing countries; still, in spite of the clearly defined benefits like low trade tariffs and appropriate trade barriers, it is also necessary to pay more attention to the true essence and the outcomes of the negotiations in regards to the global economy and the possible collapse of the local industries in some slowly developing countries.

Primary Sources

The evaluation of the Doha Round and defining its essence should help to understand the true meaning of the WTO. Though the WTO was created as a result of another type of trade agreement called GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) to offer a successful mechanism to analyze various international trade disputes, it turned out to be a solid base for further negotiations like the Doha Round.1

During the Doha Round, the ministerial declaration was offered. It defined the main goals and intentions of the negotiations’ members in regards to these particular talks. The members admitted that they wanted to make use of international trade and promote economic development as a chance to reduce the poverty level, recognize the needs of different societies, and learn how to use the opportunities available.2 In this declaration, a number of aspects were identified to clarify the goals and expected outcomes.

The negations became a crucial period of the trade relations development to the least developed countries, the population of which suffered from poverty and unstable agricultural production. It was hard for such countries to get access to import goods, as well as send their production to export. It was necessary to find the point that could be convenient for the representatives of the European Union, the trade giants like China and Japan, the USA, and several developing countries like India and Brazil. The USA wanted to promote more import-sensitive products; in return, it was asked to reduce trade-distorting domestic support.3

It is necessary to admit that not all meetings took place in Doha, Qatar. The negotiations were called this way only because the first meeting took place in the city. The next meetings varied in terms of its location: Geneva, Paris, Hong Kong, or Potsdam. At first sight, a new meeting was similar to the previous one. Still, there were certain differences, like the necessity to put different issues into consideration at first.

Every meeting of the Doha Round had different effects on its members. The main topic of the first meeting was the necessity to define trading barriers for developing countries so that they can enter different agricultural markets. The results were of a doubtful nature. Nothing new had been offered; just some general issues were discussed to clarify a further development of the countries. The next meeting ended with a terrible oral battle between its members as they failed to come to the same conclusions and continue offering more new gentle conditions to enter the market. It was not appropriate for the current level of the Doha Round. The next meetings were more or less successful, and the countries continued developing the conditions for international trade.

Secondary Sources

The Doha Round is considered to be an attempt to liberalize the trade of agricultural products as well.4 Such change can help to remove the majority of barriers and promote the production of various export-oriented products and services at the expense of the already existing import goods. It is expected to overcome a number of financial and productive losses and some revenue reductions.

These negations also helped to make the interests of developing countries recognizable. The parties wanted to underline the importance of agricultural production by means of the development of a legal mechanism. At the same time, they focused on the creation of some administrative changes to make LDCs able to accept the changes and become competitive in the global market.5

However, it is wrong to believe that the Doha Round has a positive impact only or can help to solve the global economic issues. The researchers admit that the failure of the negotiations cannot be neglected. The existing trade agreements are not as perfect as they are expected. It is observed that some poor countries in Africa are still manipulated by rich countries and continue reducing the tariffs at the expense of their local trade system.6 Poor countries do not have a chance to earn and increase their incomes. They export the services and do not observe the benefits of the opportunities available in terms of international trade.

From the very beginning, the peculiar feature of the Doha Round was that its leaders did not find it necessary to discuss the overall outcomes of their negotiations. People were eager to discuss their possible trade relations. Still, they were not attentive enough to understand that a poor country cannot become rich as they wanted it to be. The negotiations were not about certain financial decisions; they just help to underline the basis for countries’ agreements and disagreements.7

Analyzing the features of the Doha Round, I find it interesting to compare these negotiations with the words of a famous preacher from Switzerland. He admitted that any government has to promote the economic wellbeing of all people; otherwise, it can be compared to Satan.8 Almost the same can be observed in the frames of the negotiations under consideration. The governments of different countries try to promote economic wellbeing. They want to achieve success, even though they do not know-how.

Canada is one of the countries that have been participating in all negotiations and tried to create successful conditions for their trade operations. Even knowing that the Doha Round is at an impasse today, this country does not want to lose an opportunity of free trade relations and continues supporting the ideas of the WTO. Canada is not the poorest but not the richest country in the world. It is in the middle of everything happening around. However, it has rather high rates in different spheres of life, proving that a neutral position is also beneficial. In fact, Canada can become a good example for all those participants of the Doha Round. It makes use of the opportunities to use foreign energy, IT, environmental services, etc., and offers its services to different countries.

Nowadays, many people admit the fact that the Doha Round is not as effective as it has to be. Some researchers and writers call it doomed because, in spite of the 10-year-long negotiation process, the countries cannot come to the same conclusions and achieve the required profit.9 Even more, the Doha Round makes the division between developed and developing countries more obvious. Now, the developing countries know about their opportunities but can do nothing to achieve the desired success.

The developed countries get access to global trade relations in spite of the barriers that take place. Most of them are able to overcome the barriers and achieve the goals set. It does not cost much to offer their services to countries from different parts of the world. Still, I cannot understand why the already developed and successful in terms of trade countries want to negotiate. They do not find it necessary to help the developing countries in real. They make some abstract attempts to help just in order to be recognized as supporting international bodies.

Conclusion

In general, the Doha Round is a historical event that plays a certain role in the development of international trade relations. Though not many countries achieve the goals they set while joining the negotiations, much has been done to try to change the trade situation in the world. Some developing countries get stimulus and start working and developing their local markets to become able to enter the world arena. The governments demonstrated their interests in negotiating. Still, the weak point of the Doha Round is the inability to understand what all these negotiations lead to. The countries gather, plan, discuss, and analyze. Still, no evident achievements or success can be observed. A number of countries are stuck in their intentions to overcome trade barriers set by the developed countries and can do nothing to change the situation, try something new, and benefit from export and import operations.

Bibliography

GAO. Report to Congressional Requesters: World Trade Organization: Congress Faces Key Decisions as Efforts to Reach Doha Agreement Intensify. Washington, DC: GAO, 2007.

Hanrahan, Charles, E and Randy Schnepf. Congressional Research Service. 2007. Web.

Oatley, Thomas. International Political Economy. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Schwab, Susan C. Foreign Affairs, 2011. Web.

Walker, Aurelie. The Guardian, 2011. Web.

World Trade Organization. 2001. Web.

Footnotes

  1. GAO, Report to Congressional Requesters: World Trade Organization: Congress Faces Key Decisions as Efforts to Reach Doha Agreement Intensify, (Washington, DC: GAO, 2007), 4.
  2. World Trade Organization, Doha WTO Ministerial 2001: Ministerial Declaration, Web.
  3. Charles E. Hanrahan and Randy Schnepf, WTO Doha Round: The Agricultural Negotiations, Congressional Research Service, Web.
  4. Thomas Oatley, International Political Economy (New York: Routledge, 2013), 26.
  5. Robert O’Brien and Marc Williams, Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics ( New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), 126.
  6. Aurelie Walker, “The WTO Has Failed Developing Nations,” The Guardian, Web.
  7. Thomas Oatley, International Political Economy (New York: Routledge, 2013), 26.
  8. Lecture Notes.
  9. Susan C. Schwab, “After Doha: Why the Negotiations Are Doomed and What We Should Do About It,” Foreign Affairs, Web.
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IvyPanda. 2021. "Doha Round and Its Role for Trade Negotiations." January 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/doha-round-and-its-role-for-trade-negotiations/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Doha Round and Its Role for Trade Negotiations'. 26 January.

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