The relationship between openness to trade and economic growth is today well documented. Study after study has shown that countries that are more open to trade grow faster than those that are relatively closed. But 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 trade agreements. Through unilateral liberalization, policymakers can achieve the U.S. objectives of the Doha Round: better opportunities for American businesses,more affordable products for consumers, improved prospects for farmers and producers in developing countries, alleviation of poverty, and greater international receptivity to U.S. policies.