There had been no discernable progress in the WTO's Doha Round for more than two years. Major trading nations have been actively seeking progress on trade liberalization in other venues such as preferential trade agreements. The WTO seemed to many to be slipping into irrelevance as a force for trade liberalization. Part of the difficulty was that successful conclusions of rounds require all of the round's agenda items to be dealt with as a single undertaking. Faced with another failure to conclude the round as a single undertaking, a new tactic was tried at the WTO Ministerial in Bali in December 2013. A subset of agenda items where agreement could be reached was announced at the Ministerial. It was presented as a major accomplishment for the WTO. This paper examines the Bali agreement to determine if it brings sufficient progress to garner the WTO the renewed prestige that it seeks.


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