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Development Objectives and Trade Negotiations: Moralistic Foreign Policy or Negotiated Trade Concessions?

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To what extent do trade negotiations deliver on development objectives articulated from the developing world? In the past, the developed world deployed moralistic foreign policies and largesse to placate the developing world. The article examines the ways in which the global power configurations are now changing to allow developing countries to gain concessions instead through negotiations that are consistent with their development aspirations. It first provides a brief negotiation history of the developing world’s relationship with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) through the lens of development. The article then analyzes the intellectual property and agricultural negotiations at the current Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to conclude that the developed world’s preferred outcome remains moral largesse rather than making trade concessions.

Affiliations: 1: Communication, Culture and Technology Program, Georgetown University 37th and O Street, NW, Washington, DC 20057 USA, Email:


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