Each round of multilateral trade talks over the last 70 years has taken longer than the one that preceded it, so the sluggish nature of the Doha round isn't unprecedented. But the round will reach, if not celebrate, its 11th birthday in November – and there's still no end in sight. "Those of you who believe that … the round might lose all its remaining steam may be right, whether we like it or not," the WTO director general, Pascal Lamy, warned negotiators in July 2012. "Credibility lies in the capacity to produce results, not statements."
I had blogged sometime back on the likelihood of completion of trade negotiations here. With 157 members on the negotiating table, the next Director General of the WTO may perhaps have his or her task cut out.