Foreword  pp. ix-x

Foreword

By John H. Jackson

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The Doha Round, which is the first major trade negotiation under the new World Trade Organization (established by the GATT Uruguay Round Treaty effective January 1, 1995), has navigated an extraordinarily difficult course. The Third WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle December 1999 was meant to launch the Round, but this failed because of the important impact of changing membership and the decision-making processes of the WTO (compared to the GATT which had eight trade rounds). The fourth WTO Ministerial Conference held in Doha, Qatar in November 2001 was much more successful and seemed on course to launch the Round, but at the Fifth Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico (September 2003) the process failed, with major confrontations between various groupings of nation members concerning a variety of difficult international economic policy conflicts. The Sixth Ministerial Conference was held in Hong Kong in December 2005, resulting in progress and some optimism, which by the summer of 2006 had turned more negative, resulting, in a ‘suspension’ of the negotiations. Nevertheless efforts continue to move the process forward, amid considerable optimism that this negotiation has economic and even geopolitical importance to world peace and the increasing alleviation of poverty.

This book is of major importance to international trade law, as it is one of the first major scholarly and practitioner appraisals of the Doha Round to be undertaken with a view to examining the profound impact of the negotiation for the world.