Multilateral trade negotiations are, by design, becoming increasingly complex. The current degree of complexity limits the ability to assess the effects of a potential agreement and inhibits the transparency needed to reach an agreement. Despite the considerable recent efforts at capacity building in developing countries, the additional complexity has outstripped the ability to build capacity. This article draws upon New Institutional Economics to examine the effects of complexity on trade negotiations. The conclusion is that the rational decision of many countries may be to opt for no agreement.