lunes, junio 18, 2007

To Doha or not to Doha

La Ronda Doha sigue estancada y son cada vez más los que pronostican que será la última de su tipo. Paradójicamente, el comercio internacional parece expandirse con o sin ronda multilateral, gracias a las nuevas tecnologías y a la proliferación de las multinacionales. Surgirá quizás un sistema más anárquico (y probablemente más voluble a los intereses de los poderosos) pero el escenario visible no es tan alarmante como parecía hace unos años.

Protectionism specter looms amid Doha trade talks

Deal or no deal, the latest round of global trade talks may be the last of its kind.


And even if they arrive at an agreement, the World Bank estimates it would add only about $96 billion a year to the world economy. That is less than the annual gross domestic product of Romania, and a fraction of the goals originally laid out for the talks.

The Doha round "has more of a psychological effect than it does an actual economic effect," Mickey Kantor, a former U.S. Trade Representative, said.

The flagging momentum for multilateral trade deals in part reflects the success of earlier negotiations. After eight previous rounds of global agreements, developed countries have lowered tariffs to an average 4 percent from 40 percent, and more than half the world's trade is now duty-free.

Multilateral accords may also be made irrelevant by globalization, as technology cuts obstacles to trade in computing, banking and the media with less government involvement.

Even as the Doha round drifted, trade kept expanding and is set to reach a record 32 percent of world gross domestic product this year, said Stephen Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley in New York.

"The main new vehicle for trade has been the hyper speed of communications," Roach said. "These are powerful forces."

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