India threatens to derail WTO deal, prompts angry US rebuke
Published on Jul 26, 2014 3:11 AM
NEW DELHI/GENEVA (Reuters) - India threatened on Friday to block a worldwide reform of custom rules, which some estimates say could add US$1 trillion to the global economy and create 21 million jobs, prompting a U.S. warning that its demands could kill global trade reform efforts.
Diplomats from the 160 World Trade Organisation member countries meeting in Geneva had been meant to rubber stamp a deal on "trade facilitation" that was agreed at talks in Bali last December in the WTO's first ever global trade agreement.
But India, in an 11th-hour intervention, demanded a halt to the trade facilitation timetable until the end of the year and said a permanent WTO deal on food stockpiling must be in place at the same time, well ahead of an agreed 2017 target date.
"My delegation is of the view that the adoption of the TF (trade facilitation) Protocol be postponed till a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security is found,"Indian Ambassador Anjali Prasad told the WTO meeting.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here