Wto negotiations, Macroeconomics

WTO Negotiations:

As is obvious from the above explanation  that India has favoured multilateral trade reforms ever since the time of GATT (1947) to WTO (1995). Currently WTO discussions include a variety of issues as mentioned  in the previous Units 5 and 6 of Block 2. To recapitulate, India's overall stand in WTO rounds of negotiation range from, IPRs, trade  in services, agriculture, non-agricultural market access and dispute settlement mechanisms. 

WTO was originated at Uruguay round in Marrakesh. Since  then talks on the Doha Round  are going on. The  first meeting held  at Seattle  led  to  the emergence of many  controversies  between developed  and  developing countries. These controversies included agricultural subsidies, environment, and child labour. A significant development was emergence of G-20 nations including India, Brazil and China. These countries were considered critical in charting  a  positive  and  speedy path  of convergence  in  the ongoing negotiations. To begin with, these countries, however, had  played a negligible role  in  earlier negotiating rounds. The  attention was  exclusively  on the interplay between the European and the American trade representatives, who were  treated as the stars of the trade  talks and other countries wereasidelined  to anonymity. At Cancun, however, this dynamics finally  changed. Brazil took a dramatic stand,  planting the flag of  the developing  world on the MTN map and forcing the world to pay attention to its interests.  As against the past years where the United States,  the EU, Japan, and Canada had  set the terms of  the negotiations, the scenario changed and after Cancun  (2003),  however,  the  agenda was set by a new Group of five, which  included the United States, the EU, Brazil, India, and Australia (as a representative of the Cairns Group of 17  agriculture-exporting  countries). 

Cancun thus represented a triumph for developing countries, which suddenly gained recognition and a political stake in the negotiations. Indeed, the G-20even managed to demand successfully and the EU and the United States were asked to come back with improved offers on agricultural subsidies and trade barriers. Before the WTO  Ministerial meeting  in Hong Kong  (2005),  there were reasons  for pessimism about what shape negotiations will take. The most difficult issues included lowering agricultural protections. New  groups and lobbies had already been formed on this issue among the developed nations. Washington and Brussels have lobbed for related offers and counter offers at each other without much progress. The EU was divided between France and its allies, which opposed making any  serious concessions,  and the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries, which favoured making concessions. 

The success of Hong Kong was considered because of the scaling down of ambitions all around and  a renewed  commitment by  all  to refocus on the development aspect of  the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). It is stated that developing country members, including India, have the most  to gain  from multilateral trade  liberalisation under the WTO. A  successful  conclusion  of  the DDA will help countries secure more  rapid economic growth and  reduce inequality. 

Posted Date: 11/9/2012 5:36:34 AM | Location : United States

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