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Yongzheng Yang
Improving market access in industrial countries and retaining preferences have been Africa's two key objectives in the Doha Round trade negotiations. This paper argues that African negotiators may have overlooked the potential market access gains in developing countries, where trade barriers remain relatively high and demand for African imports has expanded substantially over the past decades. As reductions in most-favored-nation tariffs in industrial countries will inevitably lead to preference erosion, African countries need to ensure that the Doha Round leads to liberalization in all sectors by all World Trade Organization (WTO) members, so that the resulting gains will offset any losses. Such an outcome is more likely if African countries also offer to liberalize their own trade regimes and focus on reciprocal liberalization as a negotiation strategy rather on preferential and differential treatment.
Yongzheng Yang

partners. African countries should use special and differential treatment primarily to maximize the benefits of reciprocal liberalization and to alleviate the adjustment costs arising from their own liberalization and from preference erosion. The paper is organized as follows. To set the stage for discussion, the paper first (in Section II) provides a brief overview of Africa’s evolving trade landscape and the barriers it faces in various markets. It then examines preference erosion, which is a key concern of African countries in the Doha Round trade negotiations

John Nash and Donald Mitchell

countries’ own policies and in negotiations in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round trade talks. Global trade liberalization is only one weapon in the arsenal to fight hunger, but it can make an important contribution by delivering cheaper food in protectionist countries and boosting the global economy, helping to lift millions out of poverty. This is one reason why it is essential that the Doha Round agreement lower barriers to trade in food products in rich and poor countries. This article examines how trade policy can be harnessed to help reduce poverty

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

to mid-1990s reforms: family-friendly policies (improved access to quality early childhood education and care, and expanded maternity and paternity leave benefits) and lower taxes (a decrease in the secondary earner’s tax wedge). To boost female participation and meet the challenges of population aging, other countries can follow Canada’s example. The high cost of suspending the Doha trade talks The suspension of the Doha Round trade talks on July 24 caused barely a ripple in financial markets, but a lengthy breakdown would represent a “missed opportunity

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

. “So we in the IMF have become more focused in the way we help some of our poorest members.” She also drew attention to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, but went on to challenge African countries—as she had the Kenyan government—to implement the wide-ranging reforms needed to deliver long-term growth. Krueger urged all developing country governments—in Africa and elsewhere—to press ahead with trade liberalization without waiting for the outcome of the Doha round. Trade liberalization, she said, “is an important factor in accelerating growth,” and

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

on challenges facing the world economy. He referred to the increasing signs of recovery. But he cautioned against complacency and noted that the setback in the Doha Round trade talks in Cancún had not contributed to global confidence. He warned that “achieving a balanced recovery and return to sound and sustained global growth requires broadening our focus from the short-term requirements to the serious underlying problems that many of our economies continue to face.” Köhler noted a number of risks that continue to jeopardize global growth and international

William R. Rhodes

it would be imperative to ensure consistency with the multilateral trade discussions being held under the Doha Round. Trade is critical to restoring confidence to the world economy, and the United States and Europe bear primary responsibility for ensuring that the Doha Round is brought to a successful conclusion. And, by supporting higher economic growth and poverty reduction, it will also enable developing countries to participate more fully in the benefits of globalization. Regional and multilateral trade initiatives share the same objective: raising economic