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Time to “Double Down” on Doha, Zoellick says

July 17, 2011

Small-scale Doha deal now planned will do too little for global growth

Washington, July 17. 2011—World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick urged the world’s trading nations to “think big” and “Double Down on Doha” to ensure the round of trade talks provides a significant boost to today’s troubled global economy.
In a speech to be delivered in Geneva, Switzerland, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 18, Zoellick said the fate of the Doha Round that he helped launch in 2001 was “deeply disappointing” and the consequence could be a missed opportunity for a global growth strategy when the world sorely needed one.
“I won’t sugarcoat it. Negotiators from key countries – developed and developing – let themselves fold into defensive crouches. Tactical ploys overwhelmed strategic vision and leadership,”  Zoellick said in his prepared remarks.“Some want to Declare Doha Dead. Instead, I urge the WTO members to get bolder: Double-Down on Doha. And do so by Thinking Ahead, and Thinking Big.”
As U.S. Trade representative, Zoellick worked with ministers from nearly 150 economies to launch the Doha Development Agenda in the WTO in 2001 and then to complete the framework accord for opening markets in 2004.
Zoellick noted that the global trade deal now being considered was much smaller than that originally envisaged and this was a loss to developed and developing countries alike.“Dumbing Down Doha is defeatist,” he said. “A mini-deal won’t do much for global growth, which is my primary concern.”
“I urge the WTO – all of its members – to think big again. Otherwise, as I warned in 2003, after the breakdown in Cancun, the trade agenda will switch elsewhere,”  Zoellick said. “Think Ahead. Think Big. So that the WTO doesn’t fall behind.  The world is speeding up, not slowing down. So must we.”

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