India has told the rich nations not to confuse subsidies
with tariffs. Union minister for commerce Kamal Nath
told reporters at the Indian embassy in Washington that
if a country like the US wanted "headroom"
for distortions in subsidies, then developing nations
would seek the same headroom for reducing tariffs.
are distortions, tariffs are not," he emphasised
and added, "We need to correct subsidies and while
subsidies are being corrected, I don''t see there needs
to be an exchange rate in correcting distortions and
looking for tariffs."
pointed out that India had very low tariffs, and, therefore,
its position may be more flexible, but we must go by
our groups. "The group formations are very important
and that''s what we will be doing."
said India would continue to push for a successful conclusion
to the Doha Round of trade talks.
US must also be demonstrating because this town says
effective cuts in trade distortions. What does that
mean? Effective cuts does not mean the right to be able
to increase your subsidies," he said.
G-20 offer (on agricultural subsidies) is 12.1 (a cap
of $12.1 billion as US subsidies to its farmers that
developing nations had asked for). That''s where it stands
at the moment. There was a big gap between 12.1 and
17 (the US had concede to a higher cap of subsidies
at $17 billion). Now since the US wants some headroom,
there are countries which say that if you want headroom
in your distortion, we want headroom in our tariffs,"
you can''t have headroom for distortions without having
headroom for tariffs and market access of subsidised
products is very different from market access to agricultural
products," Nath emphasised.
the point that non-agricultural market access had to
be discussed as a stand alone with market access, he
stated, "When you are negotiating commerce, there
is an exchange rate, but when you are negotiating livelihood
security, you are not negotiating commerce. When you
are negotiating distortions, you are not negotiating
also disagreed that no consensus came out of Potsdam
pointing out that there was indeed the consensus on
food aid, disciplines and export competition.
also said not only India and Brazil, but also Australia,
Canada, and the European Union would not agree to tariff
cuts unless there was full reciprocity on subsidy cuts
by the US.