India, US, EU move closer to resolving WTO deadlock

07 November 2014

India, long accused of blocking an international trade treaty, may give a little to make the deal possible, according to reports today.

After being in deep freeze for over three months, a treaty is finally in sight with the US and the European Union showing signs of accepting India's demand for providing flexibility to developing countries in fixing minimum support prices for farm products.

In return, India will sign the stalled international treaty on easier customs rules once an agreement on the contentious food security issue is reached at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"India, the US and the EU are close to some understanding and based on this understanding they will work for a final solution at the WTO," according to a Times of India report citing an unnamed source.

Senior commerce department officials are engaged in consultations in Geneva. There are indications that the developed countries will agree not to challenge any breach in food subsidy caps till the calculation formula is reworked.

Global trade talks have been deadlocked after India refused to agree to a trade facilitation agreement to usher in easier rules for goods to flow through ports and airports unless its concerns on food security were addressed.

Based on current rules, several developing countries are close to breaching the cap of 10 per cent value of production, and face the threat of punitive action at WTO.

India has argued that the calculation of the cap is flawed as it is based on outdated prices and has demanded that formula be reworked.


 search domain-b