New Delhi: India on 20 July said the new formula suggested for reaching an agreement on agriculture and industry tariffs at the WTO is a good basis for negotiations to resume for completion of the stalled Doha round of talks.
“It (the new draft text on Non-Agriculture Market Access and agriculture) is a good basis for starting intensive negotiations,” Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said on the sidelines of a function to launch e-filing of patent and trademark applications.
The Minister said he talked to WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and told him “this is not a text of convergence. It is a text that will lead to further negotiations”.
When negotiations start in September, India hopes that the mandate of the Doha Round to speed up development of poorer countries is addressed.
The Doha round of talks, which was revived in February after a six-month hiatus, again suffered a jolt last month when the key negotiators — US, EU, India and Brazil - failed to arrive at an agreement on how much tariffs and subsidy cuts developing and developed countries should undertake.
Following the collapse of the G4 talks at Potsdam in Germany, the diplomats leading negotiations on agriculture and industrial tariffs have proposed a new formula on the tariff cuts that both developing and developed countries should agree to for completion of the Doha Round.
The text on agriculture clearly lays out the levels to which US should cap its trade distorting subsidies and the tariff cuts EU should agree to. The text on industrial tariff also spells out the level of cuts in import duties that developing countries need to undertake.