Changing power relations in the WTO

This review offers a critical reading of the November 2014 India–U.S. trade deal that unblocked an impasse in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha round and considers what it means for the way we govern global trade. It argues that the agreement, rather than being a ‘victory’ for the developing world or a cause for celebration, may simply reinforce an unfair and problematic system of distributing trade opportunities among WTO members. It may also obscure further the need for a fundamental overhaul of the way global trade is governed. In so doing, the review speaks to broader debates about what happens when ‘rising’ powers replace established states in global institutions in the absence of wider processes of reform; and it adds to growing concerns about the increasing precariousness of least developed countries (LDCs) in international economic regimes.

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