G20 Members Commit to Restarting Doha Talks

  • The G-20 grouping on Sunday committed to work on restarting the stalled Doha Round of WTO talks, building on the recent success in breaking the impasse over rolling out easier customs rules in return for giving countries such as India flexibility in paying minimum support price to their farmers.
  • While the communiqué issued in Brisbane recognized the rise of bilateral, regional and plurilateral trade agreements as a faster way of doing business, it recognized that the multilateral trading system under WTO remained the backbone of the global system.
  • A robust and effective WTO that responds to current and future challenges is essential.
  • In recent years, WTO's primacy has come under question as it has failed to clinch a single deal since it was set up two decades ago.
  • In fact, easier customs rules thorough the trade facilitation pact will be the first treaty signed since WTO was set up even as the 13 year-old Doha Round remains deadlocked.
  • The deal between the US and India on the eve of the Brisbane meet is seen by many as the key push to the Doha Round,
  • Although developed countries are pushing for “new issues“ such as climate change to be included in the agenda while they are avoiding talks on core issues of farm subsidies, industrial tariffs and services.