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Economy

Patrick Low: Don't write off the WTO

Global body is best-placed to address issues blocking mega-regional trade deals

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Container ships and other vessels sit anchored near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Dec. 2, 2016.   © Reuters

International trading relationships are more uncertain today than they have been in a long time. The inability of the World Trade Organization to bring closure to the Doha round negotiations after more than a decade and a half has undermined already shaky faith in multilateralism.

The notion that mega-regional deals among several large trading partners could serve as an alternative, or perhaps a pathway, to global trade cooperation has taken a hard knock. The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pact is moribund for the foreseeable future, perhaps even dead.

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