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Kwa: "Doha Collapse Won't Mean Suffering for The Poor"

Comrade Aileen Kwa of the Third World Network has some great analysis over at IPS:

Will the poor suffer because of the way the Doha talks ended? The failure of the talks can in fact be regarded as a victory because key developing countries were able to stand by their principles and to defend the interests of the poor in their countries...

The world is in a very different place than when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was formed in 1995. At that point the Washington Consensus advocating liberalisation and deregulation was still at an all-time high. It has fallen from its pedestal since.

Its failure can be seen in the fact that many African countries, despite implementing neoliberal structural adjustment policies to the letter, have de-industrialised in the last 20 years. The failure of the Doha talks is another blow to the crumbling consensus...

Binding a country’s trade policy and liberalising in accordance with a standard formula cannot accommodate this dynamism. In fact, liberalisation cannot be an end in itself. Countries should liberalise only when it is of benefit to them...

Countries should be allowed to explore a diversity of trade policies, in as far as they are not harmful to others outside.

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