Global Policy Forum

Doha Round: US presses China, India and Brazil

US President Barack Obama has claimed that the Doha Round of trade negotiations will fail if the large emerging economies do not agree to greater market access. The US contends that the recent rise of the larger developing economies must come with heightened responsibility. At this point it remains unclear whether the global trade deal will ever be completed. More importantly, regional trade blocs are supplanting the WTO trade rounds as the most significant arbiters for trade.

BBC News
March 1, 2011


The Doha round of trade talks will have no relevance to the modern world unless big emerging economies open up their markets, US officials have warned.

Nations such as China, India and Brazil needed to accept "their expanded roles in the global economy", said the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

The Doha Round was launched in 2001 to boost the world economy and stimulate growth through trade.

But the talks have been stalled since 2008 over agriculture imports.

In January, a report by a group of trade experts said the round had to be completed by the end of this year if it was to be a success.

Changing landscape

The USTR's comments came in an annual report outlining President Barack Obama's trade agenda.

It said the "remarkable growth" of China, India and Brazil had "fundamentally changed the landscape".

"The global rules for trade need updating to reflect the rise of the emerging economic powers," it added.

It said that in order for the Doha talks to "remain relevant", they had to address "the world as it is and as it will be in the coming decades".

The USTR pointed out that the US was being asked for significant tariff cuts on all industrial and agricultural goods and asked emerging economies to "accept responsibility commensurate with their expanded roles in the global economy".

It added: "The linchpin to Doha Round success will remain securing meaningful market access commitments in agriculture and other areas, particularly from key advanced developing countries that have been the fastest-growing economies."

Aid squeeze

In another development, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said plans to reopen a US development aid office in the Pacific region were under threat because of budget cuts.

USAID has not had a presence in the region since 2006, when its office in Fiji was closed down.

Mrs Clinton told the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations that the decision put the US at a disadvantage in competing with China, which was spending "enormous amounts of money" in the region.



FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.