Doha Round negotiations again stalled last week, with representatives from Brazil and India walking out of talks with the EU and US in Potsdam, Germany. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round, which would scale back and eliminate many subsidy payments and “market-distorting” protectionist policies and trade barriers, began six years ago in Doha, Qatar, but has missed multiple deadlines as member countries have failed to find mutually acceptable terms.
The decision to step away from the talks by India and Brazil might have sounded the death knell for Doha, according to some observers. However, others, while disappointed, noted the progress that has been made already and say that there is still hope for a positive outcome. Officials from the U.S. said they were disappointed by the decisions of Brazil’s Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and India’s Commerce Minister Kamal Nath to exit the talks.
While it is rumored that market access for manufactured goods was at the core of the disagreement, agricultural subsidies have long been the most hotly contested topic during Doha negotiations.