World Trade Organization Negotiations: The Doha Development Agenda [Updated August 2, 2006] [open pdf - 97KB]
"The World Trade Organization [WTO] was established in 1995 and is the principal international organization governing world trade. It has 149 member countries, representing over 95% of world trade. On November 9-14, 2001, trade ministers from WTO countries met in Doha, Qatar for its 4th Ministerial Conference. At that meeting, members agreed to a work program for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations. The work program folds on-going negotiations on agriculture and services into a broader agenda that includes industrial tariffs, topics of interest to developing countries, changes in WTO rules, and other provisions numbering 19 in all. Because of the influence that developing countries had in setting the work program, the round has become known as the Doha Development Agenda. Negotiations were to conclude by January 1, 2005, but this deadline was breached and the expiration of U.S. trade promotion authority in July 2007 has become the de facto deadline for the round. Agriculture has been the linchpin in the Doha Development Agenda. U.S. goals are substantial reduction of trade-distorting domestic support; elimination of export subsidies, and improved market access. Industrial trade barriers and services are other market access topics in the negotiations."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32060
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