Monday, July 24, 2006

DOHA Dead?

The DOHA round of WTO trade talks appears to be dead. Not even D.O.A. Dead before getting that far.

The developing countries had hoped to recoup some of the ground they lost in the Uruguay Round that lead to the TRIPS agreement in 1994. They wanted to push for such things as disclosure of the origin of genetic resources in patent applications and the the relationship between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the WTO TRIPS Agreement. Here's a good take on the IP situation.

This may lead to renewed US attempts to push bilateral and regional "free" trade deals - such as the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). This could be more difficult now in South America, since several countries have swung to the left since the last major attempt to push the FTAA in 2003.

NAFTA could also be reopened - and the USA may pressure Canada to "harmonize" upwards to Mexico's more than absurd copyright term of life + 100 years.

Hopefully, Canada will resist the inevitable pressures that will come to trade off sovereignty and sound Canadian IP policy for increased "access" to US markets - which means very little anyway. Just ask anyone in the lumber or beef business.


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