With the prospects for an ambitious outcome in the Doha Round of trade negotiations seemingly fading, many are lamenting the welfare gains that would be lost from a superficial agreement while others are asking whether it matters for the world's poorest and, if so, how.
All eyes are on Geneva in the next few weeks as negotiators try to salvage the Doha Round of trade talks before the Hong Kong WTO meetings in mid-December. A new brief by CGD and IIE Research Fellow Kimberly Elliott. Learn more
In this brief we focus on potential disruptions in poor countries and the policy priorities for coping with them. In particular, we recommend that the United States, which is the only rich country that does not grant tariff-free access for imports from all least-developed countries, provide this access as quickly as possible. In addition, to take advantage of any resulting opportunities, beneficiary countries must adopt domestic reforms to encourage greater productivity.
Sugar is a prototypical case of a policy that favors the few at the expense of the many. Thanks to a government policy that supports prices by sharply restricting imports, a small number of American sugar cane and beet growers are enriched at the expense of US consumers and of more efficient foreign growers, most of whom are in poorer developing countries.