The Doha Round
The chances that a Democratic administration facing an election will make a significant effort to save the Doha Round would appear to be just about nil.
There is no doubt that Obama doesn’t want to antagonize unions any more than he already has going into an election year. The general public is also skeptical of new free trade agreements, so there would be no political incentive for a president of either party to pursue the completion of Doha. Another reason for not taking political risks on this issue is that completing the Doha round won’t make that much of a difference to the global economy. Homi Kharas discussed the Doha round last month. Kharas emphasized the benefits to developing economies from completing the Doha round, but then said this:
From a developing country perspective, completion of the Doha round is far more important than from the perspective of advanced countries. The actual computed static benefits of completing Doha are actually quite small, perhaps yielding an extra one-one thousandth of global GDP each year [bold mine-DL].
That’s not nothing, but in terms of overall global GDP it is not very much. It wouldn’t be enough for this or any other administration to make a major effort on behalf of this round of trade talks.