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WTO: THE DOHA AGENDA
The New Negotiations on World Trade
Author: Bhagirath Lal Das
Publisher: Zed Books, TWN
Year Published: 2003
No. of pages: 122
ISBN: 1 84277 299 6pb (Zed); 983 9747 843 (TWN)

Price per copy: US$15.00 (Others); US$10.00 (Third World)
Postage per copy:  US$4.50 (Others); US$3.00 (Third World)

CONTENTS

PREFACE

PART I: THE NEW WORK PROGRAMME OF THE WTO

1.    Introduction
2.    Implementation Issues (Para. 12)
3.   Agriculture (Para. 13, 14)
4.   Services (Para. 15)
5.   Market Access for Non-Agricultural Products (Para.16)
6.   TRIPS (Para. 17, 18, 19)
7.   Relationship Between Trade and Investment (Paras. 20, 21, 22)
8.   Interaction Between Trade and Competition Policy (Paras. 23, 24, 25)
9.   Transparency in Government Procurement (Para.26)
10. Trade Facilitation (Para. 27)
11. WTO Rules and Dispute Settlement (Paras. 28, 29, 30)
12. Trade and Environment (Paras. 31, 32)
13. Electronic Commerce (Para. 34)
14. Trade, Debt and Finance (Para. 36)
15. Trade and Transfer of Technology (Para. 37)                                      

PART II:  SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THE WTO AGREEMENTS

16. Introduction
17. Dispute Settlement Understanding
18. Agreement on Agriculture
19. General Agreement on Trade in Services
20. Agreement on TRIMs
21. Agreement on TRIPS
22. Agreement on Textiles and Clothing
23. Understanding on BOP Provisions
24. Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
25. Agreement on Anti-dumping
26. Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade
27. Agreement on Rules of Origin

ANNEX: Doha Ministerial Declaration Adopted on 14 November 2001

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Following the Doha Ministerial Declaration in November 2001, the developed countries have catapulted the WTO into an intensive, multi-year series of further international trade negotiations. In this concise guide to the issues involved, B L Das, one of the world’s leading authorities on the WTO, explains the new Work Programme which will guide these negotiations.

Far from constituting a ‘development agenda’ as the North touted it to be, he argues that issues of great importance to developing countries do not even figure (or if they do, then insignificantly) in the Work Programme. Instead, it gives special attention to those areas that are of interest to the major developed countries, thereby further increasing the imbalance in the WTO system between North and South. Indeed the Work Programme looks set to benefit these countries who have given nothing in return to the developing countries.

The author explains and assesses the implications of each issue likely to figure in the new negotiations. These include not simply the major items that were the subject of the Uruguay Round - agriculture, services, subsidies, anti-dumping, regional trade arrangements, dispute settlement, industrial tariffs, intellectual property rights; but also new areas (the so-called Singapore issues) like investment, competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation as well as electronic commerce.

He makes concrete policy proposals for the revision of the existing WTO Agreements in order to remedy their manifest defects from the point of view of protecting and improving the development prospects of those poor countries who are already so disadvantaged in the global economy.

This is an important book likely to be of practical relevance to all those involved in the new round of trade negotiations.

About the Author: Bhagirath Lal Das was formerly India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) forum. He has also served as Director of International Trade Programmes at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He is currently a consultant and advisor to several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

 


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