India’s failed diplomacy at the WTO3 min read 18 Feb 2016, 10:55 PM IST
It has repeatedly failed to protect the domestic food security agenda
The cabinet’s approval of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on Wednesday is, on the face of it, a relatively innocuous development. As WTO deals go, this is low-hanging fruit. The agreement is to reduce administrative barriers at ports and customs, reducing transactional costs of international trade and consequently—according to various studies—increasing global gross domestic product by $1 trillion. This has found greater consensus between developed and developing economies than most WTO issues manage. But India has played spoiler—until now. The link between the TFA and India’s food security that led to New Delhi using the former as a bargaining chip may have been broken, but the underlying issue remains.