Peter Gallagher isn’t optimistic about the latest set of Doha proposals:
As a rule of thumb, simple deals open markets. The more complex the arrangements, the more likely they are to be ‘fine-tuned’ to minimize their impact on the beneficiaries of protection.
The sixty pages of complex ‘modalities’, conditions, exceptions, second-thoughts and jargon in this paper are likely to deliver much less reform than the ‘headline’ numbers suggest. The complexity of the proposals and of the protection regimes in many developed and developing economies means it’s impossible to be sure about the results without seeing the application of the proposals in detail to each market. But, working from the averages, it’s likely that these proposals will bring about, at most, modest changes and no commercial impacts in some key trades…