PM Gordon Brown: Doha Deal is Near [ZZZzzz...]

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,, at 2/05/2009 06:24:00 AM
Not-so-beloved UK PM Gordon "British Jobs for British Workers" Brown is once again trumpeting what we've been hearing for the latter part of my adult life, it seems. The Doha Round is nearing completion; it mostly depends on key parties the India and the US reaching an accord on pet issues. For India, it needs to give in a little on the matter of safeguard mechanisms to protect subsistence farmers from being inundated by imports via further agricultural market access. Meanwhile, the US needs to give in a little on sectoral deals aimed at accelerating the pace major LDCs like India and China to open sectors to American exports. From Reuters:
A world trade deal can be achieved if the United States and India agree on two outstanding issues holding up a successful conclusion, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday.

Brown told the House of Commons that the deal would be on the agenda of the G20 meeting Britain is hosting in April. "There are only two issues left to decide," Brown said. "The first one is a safeguard clause if there is a surge in imports in any poor country and the second is the negotiations on sectorals, that is the different sectors of industry and how these could be concluded." Brown said the U.S. had agreed wording on the sectoral agreements, while India wants to make progress on the safeguard clause.

"It is now up to President Obama and the Indian prime minister to say that they now accept the terms of this agreement. If that were to be so then we would have a successful conclusion to this first round of the Doha negotiations," Brown said.
All I can say is, this isn't as easy as Brown makes it sound. India's position is best expressed by lead negotiatior Kamal Nath. Meanwhile, various American lobbies are saying "no" to Doha unless LDCs' presumably lucrative markets are pried open more quickly. See my explainer here.