WTO trade agreement moves closer to acceptance, India signs off after subsidies set aside

Published: December 6, 2013

Shri Anand Sharma, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister waves as he arrives at the venue for the Head of Delegations meeting in the 9th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nusa Dua on the island of Bali on December 7, 2013. ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images

DESSIANING ARIYANTI
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BALI, Indonesia — A possible World Trade Organization deal moved closer to approval Friday after a row over food subsidies was set aside following hours of global negotiations that went late into the night.

Trade ministers had come to the four-day WTO meetings on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali with little hope that a slimmed-down agreement would be reached, with India refusing to budge on a provision that could endanger subsidies for grains under a policy to feed its poor.

But a draft proposal released late Friday to be decided on by the ministers put the subsidy issue on the backburner, allowing it to be taken up at a later point and opening room for consensus. The proposal also would simplify customs procedures.

India Trade Minister Anand Sharma said he endorses the draft proposal.

“This is a decision which is historic, and it will resonate in all continents,” he said.

The deal could boost global trade by $1 trillion and help revive the WTO’s broader Doha Round of trade negotiations, sometimes known as the development round because of sweeping changes in regulations, taxes and subsidies that would benefit low income countries.

The idea is that if all countries play by the same trade rules, then all countries, rich or poor, will benefit. But some critics say WTO rules may hinder countries from setting their own priorities in environmental protection, worker rights, food security and other areas. And they say sudden reductions in import tariffs can wipe out industries, causing job losses in rich and poor countries.

The meetings in Bali were seen as crucial after more than a decade of inertia, with failure possibly signalling an end to WTO’s relevance as a forum for multilateral trade negotiations among its 159 member economies.

“For the first time since 20 years, the WTO has proven to itself and the world that it actually provides an effective forum to negotiate multilateral trade openings,” Matthias Helble, a global trade expert at the Asian Development Bank Institute and former WTO adviser, said in an email. “The deal thereby defies critics who asserted that the large number of members and their diverging interests would make results impossible.”

The deal could still face hurdles and must be approved by all members. It was expected to be presented to the ministers and decided on early Saturday.

——

Associated Press writer Kay Johnson in Mumbai, India, contributed to this report.

11:34ET 06-12-13

[+]

Tags: , , , , ,


Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Radio towers owned by KRPI are pictured on Thursday, May 28, near Ferndale, Washington. The towers are located south of Ferndale near the Silver Reef Casino.

Tsawwassen residents fear interference from relocated radio towers

KENT SPENCER VANCOUVER DESI Few things could be more alarming during a personal phone call than suddenly being interrupted by the sound of yelling on…
Continue Reading »

rape-India

Indian website Mintified’s social media campaign saying ‘all men are not rapists’ backfires

HINDUSTAN TIMES An Indian website’s social media campaign that “all men are not rapists” has come in for intense criticism over its “dangerous message”. Mintified started a…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

End Gang Life: Dial-a-doper is truly risky business

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. released brand new videos in the End Gang Life campaign. …
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Bollywood

Bollywood choreographer Shiamak’s team to rock Surrey with the annual Summer Funk

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar’s students are all set to rock Surrey in June with their annual Summer Funk. The ‘Rise of the…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

End Gang Life: Dial-a-doper is truly risky business

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. released brand new videos in the End Gang Life campaign. …
Continue Reading »

India-Vancouver-desi

Yoga Day organizers in Vancouver still meditating on details

IAN AUSTIN VANCOUVER DESI It’s shaping up to be one groovy day. June 21 is Car-Free Day in Vancouver, plus it’s International Yoga Day —…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

sexy legs and breasts

Men prefer brains over big breasts and long legs: Study

IANS London – What do men prefer, beauty or brains? According to a British evolutionary biologist, men prefer intelligence over big breasts and long legs…
Continue Reading »

Aga Khan

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

VANCOUVER DESI Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan. The spiritual…
Continue Reading »

tallest man-India-desi

India’s tallest man spends his days in a cage-like structure posing for photos at an amusement park

VANCOUVER DESI Life is not easy for India’s tallest man Dharmendra Singh, who stands at 8-ft 1-inch, his height being the biggest barrier for his career and…
Continue Reading »

indian summer

It’s so hot in India right now the roads are literally melting

At least 1,100 dead in month-long heatwave THE ASSOCIATED PRESS & NATIONAL POST STAFF It’s so hot in India right now that the streets are…
Continue Reading »

transgender principal

India gets its first transgender college principal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KOLKATA, India — India has for the first time appointed a transgender as the principal of a college, a top education official…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Bollywood choreographer Shiamak’s team to rock Surrey with the annual Summer Funk

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar’s students are all set to rock Surrey in June with their annual Summer Funk. The ‘Rise of the…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Bollywood actress Lara Dutta is the surprise package in ‘Singh Is Bliing’

IANS Mumbai – Actor-filmmaker Prabhudheva, who is directing “Singh Is Bliing”, says Lara Dutta will be a surprise package in the film. “I was impressed…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Hollywood

Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra hopes “after Quantico, Indian actors are taken seriously”

IANS Mumbai – She remembers being bullied as a “brownie” in her teenage years in the US. But now Priyanka Chopra, who has landed a…
Continue Reading »