How long does it take to conclude a multilateral trade agreement in the WTO?

The answer, it seems, is an exponential function:

gatt wto


Partly this reflects the growing membership of the WTO. But it also, I think, is a function of the over-ambitious nature of the Doha Round. Trying to force open sensitive sectors may be worthwhile in the sense that it would lead to higher trade and net welfare. But if it impedes the world from plucking the fruit a little lower down on the tree, then it’s potentially quite dangerous.




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