labels: economy - general, world trade organisation
India, US to hold talks on reviving global trade agreement news
27 October 2006
Mumbai: India and the US are due to meet in the third week of November to sort out their differences over achieving a global trade accord. Union commerce minister Kamal Nath announced this in New York, where he is currently participating in talks with US officials.

During his visit, the revival of the stalled "Doha Round" of trade talks among the World Trade Organisation members was discussed between the US and Indian government representatives.

Treasury secretary Henry Paulson, commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez and US trade representative Susan Schwab raised the issue of disagreement between the WTO member states with Nath in separate meetings.

Nath said that India would be happy to find ways of converging its differences with the US and would engage in a dialogue to resolve the differences. The "basic difference" between the US and India was on agriculture.

India, he said, wanted an early resumption of the stalled Doha Round of WTO talks. He, however, ruled out the opening of its markets to subsidised agricultural products of the US.

"Differentiation needs to be made between commercial farming in the United States and subsistence farming in India," he said. India was prepared for negotiations with the US on the subject but its concerns have to be met, he added.

The Doha Round of trade talks stalled in July this year over differences and lack of concessions on agriculture products that lead to holding up negotiations on industrial goods and services.

The multilateral trade talks between WTO member states with the goal of reducing subsidies, tariffs and barriers to trade had commenced in Doha, Qatar, at the end of 2001.

However, negotiations have been thwarted by disputes between rich and poor nations, as well as between the US and the EU.

The WTO talks were suspended in July after six key trading nations – the US, EU, Australia, Japan, Brazil and India – failed to arrive at an agreement on reducing farm subsidies by rich nations. The Doha Round was scheduled to have been completed by the end of this year.

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India, US to hold talks on reviving global trade agreement