CAMBRIDGE – Will they or won’t they? Will the world’s trade ministers eventually sign a new multilateral trade agreement that reduces agricultural subsidies and industrial tariffs, or will they walk away empty-handed? The saga has been ongoing since November 2001, when the current round of negotiations was launched in Doha, Qatar, with numerous subsequent ups and downs, near-collapses, and extensions.
The latest round of talks in Geneva has once again failed to produce an agreement. Judging by what the financial press and some economists say, the stakes could not be higher.