The WTO talks in Nairobi ended badly and India will pay a price.
Timothy A. Wise and Biraj Patnaik analyze the outcome and implications of World Trade Organization’s Nairobi summit for India’s Scroll media outlet. See Wise’s previous analyses of the Nairobi WTO meeting.
Biraj Patnaik and Timothy A. Wise
It didn’t take long for the spin masters to begin working their magic on the latest dismal World Trade Organisation summit in Nairobi. WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo waxed eloquent about the “historic” agreement, stating in a post-meeting press conference that the agreement “will improve the lives of those who most need to benefit from trade, especially those in Africa”.
But what really happened in Nairobi and what does it mean for future trade negotiations?
We’ve had the Financial Times declaring the Doha Development Agenda dead, if not buried. For those unfamiliar with the Doha Round, it has been the only negotiating platform to discuss the concerns of developing countries, particularly with reference to agriculture and farm subsidies, in the 15 years at the WTO.
While the claims of Doha death are, as Mark Twain might have said, premature, there is no doubt the development agenda has been undermined. Developing countries got very little in Nairobi, official press releases aside, and they are likely to get even less in a future characterised by Southern incoherence and Northern dominance.