A crowded agenda of bilateral, regional and global trade talks is planned for the year ahead. At the global level, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is working hard to restart meaningful negotiations after the Doha round, launched in 2001, virtually stalled with the ﬁascos of the Seattle and Cancún summits. Mired in a growing number of disputes, the multilateral trade system is seeking a common agenda to leave behind the disagreements between developed and developing nations, so detrimental to trade expansion and wealth creation.
In parallel to global trade talks, many regions are aiming for free trade agreements this year. None is busier than the Americas where, according to the original timetable, 34 nations – all except Cuba – are negotiating a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the largest trade bloc in the world.