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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System

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Unblocking the Doha Round Impasse:
Possible Scenarios for the Agricultural Negotiations

November 2006

Read "Unblocking the Doha Round Impasse" [PDF, 383 KB]

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy recently gave the "green light" for informal discussions to resume on all issues in the WTO Doha Round. Heartened by this movement towards a resumption of the stalled Doha negotiations, IPC is of the view that WTO members can overcome the impasse over agriculture. This, however, will require that they acknowledge the important progress made to date and agree to move forward in a spirit of compromise, enabling all members to reap the benefits that a Doha Round can bring. This Issue Brief by IPC Member Michael Gifford helps to clarify the complexity in the agricultural negotiations, and identifies for WTO members the significant progress already made in the three core areas of the agricultural negotiations: market access, domestic support, and export competition. The author also outlines the major outstanding issues that have yet to be resolved, particularly in the domestic support and market access pillars, and proposes some possible solutions for moving the process forward. Specifically, this Brief identifies potential solutions in the areas of: domestic support, the tariff reduction formula, and sensitive and special products. Rather than being definitive answers, the author's solutions should be considered practical suggestions and examples to illustrate that the present impasse can, in fact, be unblocked if key parties recommit themselves to finding solutions.

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