Policy Forum

U.S. Trade Policy in the Wake of Doha: Why Unilateral Liberalization Makes Sense

June 21, 2006 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM EDT


Featuring Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor of Economics and Law, Columbia University, Senior Fellow in International Economics, Council on Foreign Relations and Daniel Ikenson, Associate Director, Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

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Four and a half years after the launch of the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Agenda, with its goals of further reducing barriers to trade in goods and services, prospects for an auspicious outcome look remote. But increased trade does not require new agreements. Through unilateral liberalization, the U.S. objectives of the Doha Round can be achieved: better opportunities for American businesses, greater affordability and choice for consumers, improved prospects for farmers and producers in developing countries, and greater international receptivity to U.S. policies.

Jagdish Bhagwati, one of the world’s most prominent trade economists and editor of a recent book about unilateral liberalization, Going Alone: The Case for Relaxed Reciprocity in Freeing Trade, will offer his thoughts on the topic and on U.S. trade policy more generally.

Dan Ikenson will discuss the case for unilateral liberalization, as argued in his new paper, “Leading the Way: How U.S. Trade Policy Can Overcome Doha’s Failings.”