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Past Program

Jun 05 - Jun 10, 2005

The World Trade Negotiations: The Politics of Economics and Trade

Session 424

Abstract

Since its inception, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has weathered considerable challenges, ranging from massive public demonstrations to deep criticism in the press to the near collapse of negotiations among its member countries. Nevertheless, the WTO has reached its 10-year anniversary intact, having evolved to meet a variety of these and other challenges. It now faces the difficulty of successfully concluding contentious negotiations on a broad range of trade-related issues, intertwined with the development objectives detailed in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) agreed upon at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in November 2001.

The WTO negotiations are at a crucial point. Agreement in July 2004 on a framework for agriculture reinvigorated the talks. Substantial progress across the broad DDA must be achieved at the Sixth Ministerial Conference, scheduled for December 2005 in Hong Kong, in order for the talks to conclude successfully in 2006 or by early 2007, prior to the expiry of the US negotiating authority.

This session will examine the issues and challenges the WTO faces in trying to conclude the Doha Round. The issues are highly complex and the negotiating process is difficult. Altering trade policies, opening markets and reducing barriers create great uncertainty about the economic impact on domestic markets and can provoke serious domestic political opposition. In this regard, agricultural trade policy will be given special consideration at the session due to its importance for economic development and for the overall package of WTO agreements.

In addition, session participants will address concerns regarding the openness and transparency of the trading system and the negotiating process. WTO institutional issues related to decision-making processes, dispute settlement procedures, and equitable participation of all members will be discussed with a view to identifying the most critical and potentially successful initiatives that could increase the efficacy and credibility of the WTO and achieve the stated goal to "improve the welfare of the peoples of the member countries."

The fee for this session is 3,000 EURO. The fee covers the cost of the program, accommodations, and meals.

Limited financial aid is available and is awarded based on need. Applicants who believe they qualify for assistance should explain their circumstances in a letter, which should be submitted with their application.

NOTE: This session may be taken for Continuing Education credit. Offered in association with the Center for International Legal Studies (CILS), this conference is recognized by the Law Society of England and Wales, the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, and the Netherlands Bar for Continuing Professional Development Credit (CPD), the states of New York, California, and Colorado under the approved jurisdictions rule, as well as West Virginia, New Hampshire and South Carolina for Continuing Legal Education Credit (CLE).

In addition, due to CILS' recognized sponsorship with the above states, lawyers from the following jurisdictions will qualify for CLE credits: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Wyoming and Hong Kong. There is an additional fee of EUR170 to register for CLE credit.