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The WTO and Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges for Brazil

The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations “commemorated” their twelfth anniversary in November 2013. Policymakers in industrialized nations seem to be both distracted (by the effects of the financial crisis) and more intrigued by preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and plurilaterals (e.g., the Trade in Services Agreement, TISA) than by the multilateral approach. The large emerging economies continue to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, ready to fight for their agenda, but unwilling (or unable) to exert positive leadership in advancing the DDA. The private sector, in turn, seems increasingly frustrated with the multilateral trade system. There is a generalized perception that the WTO’s disciplines and modus operandi are outdated and cannot keep pace with globalization. In such an environment, it is not surprising that some observers are willing to pose the question: Is the WTO worth “saving”?

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