Author: Kirtika Suneja
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
BUENOS AIRES: The US refused to take any decision on the food subsidy issue in the ongoing ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), crushing India's expectations of securing a better deal for its food security programme and likely wrecking the event. An official accused the US of reneging on its commitments. The US and India also jousted over the latter's developing country status.
Assistant United States Trade Representative Sharon Bomer Lauritsen told a closed group meeting of countries involved in farm negotiations including India on Tuesday that the mandate from the US administration dictates that there be no outcome on agriculture, an official said.
Essentially, the US has said it will not offer any more relaxation on food security programmes as demanded by India and China along with others.
"This means that the ministerial has collapsed... no outcome on agriculture means no declaration," the official said. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is scheduled to leave Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the penultimate day of the conference, which makes it almost certain that the ministerial has collapsed.
"They had committed in Bali and now they have reneged. This is not the way multilateralism works," another official said.