Economist to present on world trade talks failure

July 12, 2012

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Professor Jagdish Bhagwati

An international economist will discuss the way forward for global trade policy in the wake of the failed Doha round of negotiations in an event at Murdoch University on Monday, July 16.

Professor Jagdish Bhagwati from Columbia University is visiting Perth as part of the Eminent Speaker Series, which is presented by the Economic Society of Australia and co-sponsored by the Western Australia Treasury.

The ambitious Doha Round of trade talks was launched in 2001 to boost the world economy and to stimulate growth and wealth in developing countries through trade.

However key agreements could not be reached by the 153 World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries before the end of 2011, which was considered by many to be the ‘make or break’ deadline for the talks because electoral cycles, particularly in the United States, were beginning.

In a presentation entitled After Doha, What?, Prof Bhagwati will talk about the repercussions of the failure of the negotiations and how it may damage some of the core functions of the WTO such as multilateralism, rule making and dispute settlement.

Visiting Australia as part of the Australian Conference of Economists, Distinguished Visitor Series, Prof Bhagwati is described as the most creative international trade theorist of his generation and is a leader in the fight for free trade.

He is senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and is the special advisor to the United Nations on globalisation. He is also an external advisor to the WTO.

He has published more than 300 articles and has authored or edited more than 50 volumes as well as writing frequently for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

Prof Bhagwati’s most recent book Termites in the Trading System (Oxford University Press, 2008) discusses the harmful effects of preferential trading agreements. His previous book In Defense of Globalisation (Oxford University Press, 2004) attracted worldwide acclaim.

His talk at Murdoch University will take place in the Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre, Murdoch University South Street Campus at 6pm.

To register and attend, please contact Melanie Self on 9360 6070.

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