The Demise of Development in the Doha Round Negotiations

Sungjoon Cho
Chicago Kent College of Law


Texas International Law Journal, Vol. 31, 2010


This article provides a concise history of the Doha Round negotiation, analyzes its deadlock, and offers some suggestions for a successful Doha deal and for developing countries. The article observes that the nearly decade-long negotiation stalemate is symptomatic of diametrically opposed perceptions of the nature of the Round between developed and developing countries. While developed countries appear to be increasingly oblivious to Doha’s original genesis, developing countries vehemently condemn their narrow commercial focus in the Doha Round talks. It will not be easy to untie this Gordian knot since both developed and developing countries tend to think that no deal is better than a bad deal. This political dilemma notwithstanding, the current global economic crisis has been a clarion call for a successful Doha deal. Ironically, the widespread protectionist reactions from both developed and developing countries have highlighted the vital importance of a well-operating multilateral trading system. This article concludes that the United States must exercise leadership in delivering the Doha Round and that developing countries must embrace open trade more vigorously beyond the Doha Development Agenda.

The Demise of Development in the Doha Round Negotiations

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