Jun 15, 2008

WTO: India And US To Work To Resolve Differences

There is positive news coming out of India on the prospects for an outcome in the WTO Round. Officials from the two countries have apparently committed to redouble efforts to resolve differences in Geneva.

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: India has said the allegation made by the US that it is blocking the Doha Round of trade talks is unfair and inaccurate. It added that the officials of the two countries will intensify their engagement in Geneva to narrow differences on cut in duties on industrial and farm goods.

“For us, the Doha Round is as important as it is to the United States or any other country. The criticism is unfair and inaccurate,” commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said at his session with talk show host Charlie Rose.

The minister, who is in Washington, met US trade representative Susan Schwab on Wednesday and Thursday, in an attempt to take forward the on-going World Trade Organisation negotiation which is stuck on critical issues related to cuts in subsidies and tariffs.

US under secretary of commerce for international trade Christopher A Padilla had accused India of working ``behind the scenes’’ for the demise of the on-going Doha round.

According to a release issued by the Indian Embassy in the US, the two countries have agreed that every effort should be made to conclude the Doha Round as expeditiously as possible. “To this end, senior officials of the two countries would intensify their engagement at Geneva over the coming weeks to narrow the differences and to build on convergences,” it said.