Recent discussions of trade negotiations have focused on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), often referred to as “mega-regional” trade talks. But most economists and other trade experts agree that trade liberalization would be more beneficial if done on a multilateral basis, at the World Trade Organization (WTO). There are talks going on at the WTO, referred to as the Doha Round, but they started in 2001 and are widely seen as not likely to achieve much.
What would it take to get WTO liberalization going again? There are lots of theories on this, but my view is that it’s really pretty simple: The major trading countries need to propose significant liberalization. That hasn’t happened yet, and that’s why there has been so little progress.