Analyses | 30 July 2008

After Doha: the search for Plan B

The Doha round of world trade talks has collapsed. After the negotiations were suspended back in July 2006, Mark Thirlwell wrote that – regardless of the ultimate outcome of the Round – the era of giant, set-piece trade negotiations like Doha and its predecessor, the Uruguay Round, was over. The world would therefore have to search for a Plan B for international trade.

Mark Thirlwell

  • Mark Thirlwell

The Doha round of world trade talks has collapsed. After the negotiations were suspended back in July 2006, Mark Thirlwell wrote that – regardless of the ultimate outcome of the Round – the era of giant, set-piece trade negotiations like Doha and its predecessor, the Uruguay Round, was over. The world would therefore have to search for a Plan B for international trade.

Mark Thirlwell

  • Mark Thirlwell
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Executive Summary

In the short term, the most likely Plan B on offer would be a further turn to regional and bilateral trade arrangements. But in the longer term, reform of the multilateral system would be required. The same assessment holds today.