Failure to reach a global customs rules deal could have a "considerable impact" on other areas of global trade negotiation, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo said on Monday during a visit to Mexico.
He was perhaps hinting at India, which late last month shot down a deal to simplify, standardise and streamline rules for shipping goods across borders, or 'trade facilitation', demanding concessions on agricultural stockpiling (See: India not to back WTO's trade protocol sans food security).
"If we don`t find a solution for this issue, we could see a considerable impact on other areas of world negotiation," Azevedo said in a speech in Mexico City, referring to WTO negotiations.
"I think that we have an opportunity in September to restart talks and see if a bridge is possible," he added.
India insisted that before signing the facilitation pact, it must see more progress on a parallel move giving it more freedom to subsidise and stockpile grains than is allowed by WTO rules.
The Indian government said last week it believed it could convince other members that its demand for more freedom on food subsidies was legitimate, and has said it could sign a deal as early as September if its concerns are addressed.