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Global Development Institute

WP167/2012

Is the Doha Round dead? What is the way forward?

Faizel Ismail

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round of negotiations has been at an impasse since December 2008. Several academics and opinion makers have argued recently that the Doha Round is "dead". This paper discusses the US narrative on the reasons for the impasse in the Doha Round and the way forward. It contrasts this narrative with that of the major developing country alliances in the WTO and considers some underlying causes for the current impasse in the Doha Round. The paper concludes that the US narrative that the Doha Round is dead is not supported by the majority of the WTO's members and that, whilst a conclusion of the Doha Round is not likely in the near future, there is no viable alternative to concluding the Doha Round on its current development mandate.