Bali, December 05, 2013
Speaking to the press here today, Pradeep S. Mehta, the secretary general of CUTS International, has said that this deal is still possible as also stated by the WTO DG, Roberto Azevedo. Otherwise history will not offer such an opportunity again and the MTS would lose its strength as a fair trade regulator.
“Major countries have signalled that they are open to talks to arrive at a mutually agreed draft declaration at Bali so as to not only protect the poor of the developing world but to restore the confidence in the MTS”, said Mehta. “Alas, as on today the deal still remains elusive”.
The U.S. in particular should support multilateralism, rather than think that carving out the world in different trading blocks will be healthy for its own economy.
“A majority of Americans say the benefits from U.S. participation in the global economy outweigh the risks and support for closer trade and business ties with other nations stands at its highest point in more than a decade”, according to a recent survey conducted by Washington-based Pew Research Center. “The US Trade Representative should take this as a window of opportunity to pave a deal at Bali,” added Mehta.
On the food stockholding issue, the deal could recognise the need to reformulate the subsidy equation within and not later than the agreed period of four years (peace clause), as the WTO farm agreement has been pegged on 1986 commodity prices, while today’s prices are much higher.
The deal on trade facilitation also needs to mutually satisfactory to all countries with definitive commitments on capacity building and infrastructural investment in the developing world.