India says weakening of SSM can break WTO deal

Top Stories

    India, which has been fighting for protection of livelihood of its poor farmers at the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Doha Round talks, waged an aggressive battle cautioning against attempts to weaken the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) that helps developing countries curb a sudden import surge and price decline of sensitive agricultural products.

    But Brazil, which is India's partner in the powerful G-20 alliance, found it difficult to support India on SSM due to differences within the G-20 on SSM.

    Meanwhile, after five long days marked by major differences, the meeting of 35 ministers from leading nations made some progress towards finalising a 'July 2008 package' by the middle of next week. The package is regarding liberalisation commitments on agriculture and industrial goods as well as some give and take on services, to enable the WTO's seven-year-old Doha Round talks clinch a global trade deal.

    India told a Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) meeting on Saturday that the numbers in the new SSM "has all the makings of a deal-breaker" as it would harm the interests of its poor farmers.

    Expressing serious concerns on the numbers in the new SSM proposed by Lamy that has made it difficult to make its operation effective, India said "the bound rate trigger of 140 per cent is simply not acceptable. We need serious reconsideration of this proposal."

    "We cannot go home with a provision which would ask us to wait for an import surge of 40 per cent before we can take remedial action," India said in a statement.

    On industrial goods, in a compromise, India signaled its willingness to negotiate reasonable numbers in the controversial market opening anti-concentration clause.

    Please read our terms of use before posting comments
    TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
    comments powered by Disqus