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Breaking the Doha Deadlock

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The Doha Round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization has reached a stalemate, with most countries blaming the deadlock on a U.S. agricultural trade proposal they see as offering little or no actual policy change by the U.S. while requiring maximum concessions by farmers elsewhere. U.S. negotiators have thus far refused to modify that proposal and the outgoing Congress supported their position.

In a new Carnegie Policy Outlook, Sandra Polaski argues that the new Congress should reexamine the skewed U.S. proposal. She demonstrates that the claim that developing country agricultural markets are closed to U.S. exports and must be prized open during the Doha Round is not supported by the facts. Polaski maintains that a favorable deal is available if the U.S. can find its way out of the corner it has backed in to. Congress can and should help, in order to achieve benefits for the U.S. economy as a whole and the wider U.S. interests of global growth, stability and poverty alleviation.