After 10 years of negotiations, the Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN) has been virtually abandoned. While Robert Zoellick (USTR) and Pascal Lamy (EU Trade Commissioner) did not hesitate to point the finger unjustifiably at the G-22 group of developing countries when Doha negotiations failed at Cancun in 2003, there has been reluctance to point the finger at the culprit, the United States whose intransigent demand killed Doha: you do not bark at a Rottweiler!
The near-death of Doha is not the only damage that the United States has done to the world trading system and the WTO – the nature of that damage will be discussed in the Lecture – but the United States has compounded the damage by backing instead the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This discriminatory Preferential Trade Agreement, by building into itself numerous (some still secretive) US-lobbies-fed demands for all kinds of extraneous trade-unrelated demands, has made it impossible for Asian countries like India and China to join the TPP, thus threatening to divide Asia into two blocs, just as a similar policy in South America has already divided that Continent into the proposed Brazil-led FTAA bloc and the Andean Group bloc built along the alternative lines of NAFTA.
About the Speaker
Jagdish Bhagwati is a University Professor at Columbia University and a Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been Economic Policy Adviser to Arthur Dunkel, Director General of GATT (1991-93), Special Adviser to the UN on Globalization, and External Adviser to the WTO. He has served on the Expert Group appointed by the Director General of the WTO on the Future of the WTO and the Advisory Committee to Secretary General Kofi Annan on the NEPAD process in Africa, and was also a member of the Eminent Persons Group under the chairmanship of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the future of UNCTAD. Five volumes of his scientific writings and two of his public policy essays have been published by MIT press. The recipient of six festschrifts in his honor, he has also received several prizes and honorary degrees, including awards from the governments of India (Padma Vibhushan) and Japan (Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star). Professor Bhagwati's latest book In Defense of Globalization was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 to worldwide acclaim.
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