Trade Policy after Doha
With the stalling of the Doha talks, a lot of policy liberalization has been done in the recent past either within preferential trade agreements (PTAs) or unilaterally, without much say-so by the GATT or the WTO. A good case can be made that unilateral liberalization over next decade will erase a great many tariffs on intermediate goods and reduce nontariff barriers on business services. But for many barriers, liberalization is only likely to occur within the WTO or PTAs. If the major G20 countries want to invigorate the process of trade creation and extend the scope of common commercial rules, they have little choice but to forge deals with each other. Once several emerging economies come on board, the stage will be set for a new WTO round that eliminates a flock of residual tariffs, establishes global service and investment rules, and harmonized many of the WTO-plus rules found in PTAs.