Breaking the Doha Deadlock

Policy Outlook
The new U.S. Congress needs to reexamine America's position in the WTO negotiations. A lopsided U.S. proposal on agriculture has deadlocked the trade talks, preventing gains in services and manufacturing trade that are much more important to the U.S. economy.
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The Doha Round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization has reached a stalemate, with most countries blaming the deadlock on a U.S. agricultural trade proposal they see as offering little or no actual policy change by the U.S. while requiring maximum concessions by farmers elsewhere.  U.S. negotiators have thus far refused to modify that proposal and the outgoing Congress supported their position. 

In a new Carnegie Policy Outlook, Sandra Polaski argues that the new Congress should reexamine the skewed U.S. proposal.  She demonstrates that the claim that developing country agricultural markets are closed to U.S. exports and must be prized open during the Doha Round is not supported by the facts.  Polaski maintains that a favorable deal is available if the U.S. can find its way out of the corner it has backed in to. Congress can and should help, in order to achieve benefits for the U.S. economy as a whole and the wider U.S. interests of global growth, stability and poverty alleviation.

About the Author
Sandra Polaski
 is director of the Trade, Equity, and Development Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her work focuses on trade, development, and employment policies in the context of globalization. Until April 2002, Ms. Polaski served as the U.S. Secretary of State’s Special Representative for International Labor Affairs. Her most recent publication is: Winners and Losers: Impact of the Doha Round on Developing Countries, March 2006.

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Publication Resources

In Fact



of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.


of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.


charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.


thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.


of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.


trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.


of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.


of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.


of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.


of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.


U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.


of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.


million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.


of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.


of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

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