WTO Nairobi meet: Updates on the 10th Ministerial Conference

Jan, 28, 2016

Talks start on WTO meeting outcomes

Experts say removing export subsidies by 2023 is likely to worsen sugar sector crisis.

  1. India began its inter-ministerial consultations on the implications of the decisions taken at the last month’s WTO ministerial conference at Nairobi.
  2. The discussions revolved around the kind of support (subsidies) that will not be possible for the farm sector in years ahead and how India should respond to that.
  3. The outcomes of the WTO’s Nairobi meet include ministerial decisions on agriculture covering a SSM for developing countries (to counter import surges of farm items) and public stockholding.
  4. It also includes a commitment to abolish export subsidies for farm exports and measures related to cotton.
Jan, 21, 2016

Stand at Nairobi WTO meet wins Cabinet backing

India secured a re-affirmative Ministerial Decision on the public stockholding issue.

  1. The Cabinet approved India’s stand at the last month’s WTO conference held in Nairobi on food security and farm exports.
  2. The outcomes of the conference, referred to as the ‘Nairobi Package’ include Ministerial Decisions on agriculture covering a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM).
  3. India negotiated a Ministerial Decision on another very important issue.
  4. This recognises that developing countries will have the right to have recourse to an agricultural SSM as envisaged in the Doha mandate.
  5. Members will continue to negotiate the mechanism in dedicated sessions of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session.
Dec, 19, 2015

Stalemate continues at WTO meet in Nairobi

The developing and the developed world failed to bridge their differences over farm issues as well as on whether to continue with the ongoing 14-year-old Doha Round talks.

  1. Developing countries demanded that the conference re-affirm the Doha Development Agenda.
  2. Developing countries want the final Ministerial Declaration to have an accelerated work programme on the SSM and food security issues.
  3. There were efforts to link a deal on SSM with that on export competition.
  4. The deal may have an LDC package, which would include duty-free, quota-free market access for LDCs, services waiver and preferential rules of origin.
  5. Some WTO members excluding India agreed on the timetable to implement a major deal to get rid off tariffs on 201 IT products.
Dec, 16, 2015

WTO chief calls for a Paris-style deal

Persisting deep differences between developed & developing countries will make job of ministers difficult in arriving at consensus.

  1. The ministerial conference (the WTO’s highest decision-making body) began in Nairobi at a time when the global trade body is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
  2. India want the protection of interests of poor farmers and a permanent solution for the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes to be addressed on a priority basis.
  3. They don’t want any dilution of ‘development’ dimension of the Doha Round through incorporation of ‘new’ issues of interest to the rich world.
Dec, 14, 2015

U.S. civil society groups back India’s stand at WTO

  1. India’s demand to safeguard the interests of poor farmers and food security programmes has received support within the U.S.
  2. They urged the US to agree to a proposal on a permanent solution to the issue of food stocks programmes to support food security.
  3. They asked the US to agree to the revision of the baseline figures on public spending on agriculture to reflect current prices.
  4. Ministers from 162 member countries of the WTO will gather at the Nairobi during December 15-18 for negotiations meant for a deal to open up global trade.
Nov, 28, 2015

India toughens stand at WTO after safeguards proposal blocked

  1. India has toughened its stance ahead of the WTO Nairobi ministerial meeting next month.
  2. The US, EU, Australia and Brazil blocked a proposal aimed at protecting millions of resource-poor farmers.
  3. These 4 countries rejected the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) being demanded by India along with 46 developing countries of the G-33 far coalition.
  4. The SSM is vital for protecting millions of poor farmers from the sudden and unforeseen surges in imports of farm products.
Jun, 30, 2015

Centre seeking solution to WTO subsidy cap issue

The next Ministerial meeting of WTO is to be held in December in Nairobi.
  1. That is our biggest opportunity for a permanent solution to bring predictability and symmetry in subsidy cap issue.
  2. What’s India’s stand?
  3. The WTO should update the reference price of 1986-88 that is used in the formula for calculating the food subsidy cap
  4. Either that or exempt schemes from the purview of subsidy caps.
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