for strong outcome on permanent solution on PSH programs
Published in SUNS #8594 dated 12 December 2017
Buenos Aires 11 Dec (D. Ravi Kanth) - India's trade minister Suresh
Prabhu has called for a strong outcome on the permanent solution for
public stockholding (PSH) programs for food security at Buenos Aires
and said this is a priority issue and a must-have for his government.
The permanent solution is a mandated issue and must be concluded on
a credible basis at Buenos Aires to send a strong signal that the
WTO stands for the resource-poor farmers and fighting hunger, the
trade minister emphasized.
Prabhu said an outcome on the permanent solution will send a strong
signal about the WTO's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable
He said India and the G33 members had engaged constructively in finalizing
the outcome which has to be an "improvement" over the perpetual
Trade ministers had agreed to an interim solution at the WTO's ninth
ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013, and later
it was further clarified in November 2014, when the WTO's General
Council had agreed on a perpetual peace clause with a permanent peace
clause to be finalized by the eleventh ministerial conference which
is now taking place in Buenos Aires.
Prabhu said he will not accept any linkages between the permanent
solution and issues concerning domestic support as suggested by Brazil
and some other farm exporting countries.
India along with China has proposed the elimination of aggregate measurement
of support (AMS) or most trade- distorting support for commencing
work on domestic support.
The Indian trade minister emphasized the importance of affirming the
"multilateral trading system" which is the scaffolding for
addressing developmental outcomes for global trade and development.
India remains opposed to bringing "differentiation" among
developing countries into the WTO architecture, saying special and
differential flexibilities are at the core of the WTO obligations.
India, he said, has opposed a change in the existing mandate for the
electronic commerce based on the 1998 work program.
India has rejected other new issues such as investment facilitation
and disciplines for micro, small, and medium enterprises in the run-up
to the Buenos Aires meeting.
India feels that investment facilitation will not result in enhancing
more investment to developing countries but it would result in restricting
[According to a news report in The Hindu, India has objected to some
rich countries using an influential forum called the "Parliamentary
Conference on the World Trade Organisation (WTO)" to indirectly
push certain "non-trade" issues like labour and environment
standards as well as gender equality into the global trade body's
["According to India, it is not fair to link labour and environment
standards as well as gender equality to trade, and insist on rule-making
on these topics at a multilateral level as such a move would constrain
the governments of developing nations from incentivising and promoting
these areas to address developmental challenges. India expressed apprehensions
that rich nations are using high standards on labour, environment
and gender equality as a ploy to curb exports from the developing
economies to the developed world," said The Hindu report.
[According to The Hindu report, India is also learnt to have pointed
out the double standards of certain countries from the developed world
that are pitching for inclusion of such non-trade issues into the
multilateral negotiations agenda, but are coming in the way of progressive
treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement on climate
change as well as the linkage between the TRIPS Agreement and the
UN Convention on Biological Diversity for protecting traditional knowledge
and folklore. SUNS]