India, US resolve impasse over food security issues at WTO

SansadTV Bureau

Paving the way for implementation of trade facilitation pacts at WTO, India and US have resolved an impasse over food security related issues while safeguarding interest of Indian farmers.

With the US agreeing to support India’s proposal on public stockpiling of food, it would now go for ratification by the WTO General Council to facilitate signing of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that has been stalled for months.

Announcing the breakthrough, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India and the US have successfully resolved their differences on the public stockholding issue for food security purposes in WTO.

This will “pave the way for spurring the WTO to more such success,” she said, while expressing confidence that members would “take the matter forward in WTO in a constructive spirit”.

The Minister further said that many nations saw merit in India’s stand at WTO and that the US has also “appreciated and now openly supported our concerns on public stockholding.”

“India has never obstructed trade facilitation… We were only trying to safeguard our farmer’s interests,” she added.

“WTO General Council will receive India’s proposal and US will support us,” Sitharaman said, while adding that there was a greater understanding of India’s position after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.

“India is a strong supporter of the multilateral trading system and we are committed to strengthen it. Bali agreement was not perfect. We had raised these issues for a course correction… We have raised our issues… We are happy to say our differences have been resolved,” she said in a series of tweets.