Master's Theses

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Department

International Relations

Keywords

Multilateral Negotiations, Trade, WTO

Abstract

"The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) longstanding Doha Round has continued to be under discussion for over ten years. Negotiations between the developing coalitions and developed countries began during the September 2003 Cancun Ministerial Conference. Since the Doha talks began, the number of such agreements has doubled to over two hundred worldwide, as of 2011.1 As a result of stalled ten year negotiations, political will and support for a strong multilateral deal has eroded. The United States and the European Union have aggressively pursued the majority of regional and bilateral trade agreements. These agreements exclude the vast majority of developing nations. A multilateral deal would have a greater contribution to global economic growth, especially in regards to developing nations, than any existing regional agreement. The Doha Round trade talks is the longest continuous trade negotiation in WTO history. Among the twenty one subjects of the Doha agreement is the Agreement on Agriculture. The agriculture industry accounts for significant financial gains to developing nation’s economies. Representatives of developing nations have persistently worked towards an agreement because ultimately the cost of no agreement would be high and have greater consequences than a stalemate.2 The WTO is one of the most recognized international institutions throughout the world. Its members represent the disparate parts of the international community and bring them together under a common goal: A multilateral agriculture framework that benefits all members. The Doha Round is focused on the international trade of agriculture, an industry that every country relies on to supply food to its people and contributes to the economy. The fact that there is yet to be a multilateral agriculture agreement demonstrates the complexity of the issues and how crucial agriculture is to national and international economies. The only way to move forward is to operate under a new formula that addresses problems within market access, special treatment, the “single-undertaking” and the Singapore Issues. In this study, I examine the negotiation dynamics between three developing country coalitions, the Cotton-4, the G-33 and the G-90, and two developed countries, the United States and the European Union in the four issue-areas mentioned above. My hypothesis states that if and only if the three developing country coalitions and the two developed countries offer specific adjustments to the WTO agenda will there be a successful outcome to the negotiations. Putnam’s theory of ratification and two-level games is applied to identify these specific concessions that maximize win-sets. Twelve years later, the Doha agreement is still on the table. The differences in interest have been vast and negotiations have been long. So why, even after the many years of disagreement that’s led to an inability to collaborate interests between developed and developing nations, should Doha continue to be negotiated? At the 2008 address to the General Council in Geneva, former WTO Director-General Lamy stated ""looking at what is on the table now, members believe that the Doha round is still worth fighting for.""3"

 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.