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Abstract

The WTO Doha Round of trade negotiations was launched in 2001 and after twelve years of negotiations members seem unable to bring it to a successful conclusion. An attempt to deliver an ‘early harvest’ of deliverables at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in December 2013 does not appear likely to be more successful. This paper describes the stage that the negotiations have reached in agriculture and the value of what is currently on the table. It reviews the agricultural agenda for the Bali meeting and the prospects for its success. It discusses the reasons for the current impasse in the negotiations and asks whether agricultural trade liberalization would be better served by abandoning the Doha Round. The paper argues that this would not be the case, and concludes by speculating on the conditions necessary to ensure a conclusion to the Round.

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