Issues and Prospects for the Post-Nairobi Multilateral Trade Agenda
Lee, Hyo-Young | March 2016
The outcome of the tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2015 can be cautiously dubbed as a ‘temporary remedy’ to prevent the collapse of the multilateral trading system as a whole. While it succeeded in not terminating the Doha Round (launched in November 2001), neither did it succeed in fully endorsing its continuance. In terms of ‘deliverables’, the Ministerial gathering managed to deliver a small package consisting of several decisions on agriculture, including the elimination of agricultural export subsidies, and several LDC issues, but the remaining agricultural issues failed to see such progress and the other ‘pillar issues’ such as NAMA (non-agricultural market access) and services were not even tabled as the negotiating agenda. The WTO members also failed to reach agreement on how to advance the negotiations. The Ministerial Declaration adopted at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference is evidence of the stark difference in positions among the WTO members, especially regarding the core issue of the WTO’s future agenda. The text of the Declaration includes language that manifests the deep division in positions, stating that “Members have different views on how to address the negotiations”. Even regarding special and differential treatment (SDT) – a core development issue in the Doha Development Agenda - the text explicitly mentions the possibility of negotiations based on either the existing “Doha structure” or “new architectures”. Furthermore, the Declaration indirectly acknowledges that the current negotiating structure of the WTO may be blocking the progress of negotiations, stating that “new approaches are necessary to achieve meaningful outcomes in multilateral negotiations”.
CitationLee, Hyo-Young. 2016. Issues and Prospects for the Post-Nairobi Multilateral Trade Agenda. © Korea Institute for International Economic Policy. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/10538.
Trade And Development
Food Security And Trade
Regional development bank
Communication in rural development
Labor and globalization
Regional trading blocs
Foreign trade and employment
Foreign trade regulation