US pressure on Indian Cabinet formation?
There is a rather odd interview Anand Sharma has given to Reuters. He is off to Washington and the interview comes just before the visit. Part of the interview is about India being keen to break the deadlock in WTO negotiations.
That's a fair point since multilateral agreements are preferable to bilateral or regional ones. In addition, multilateral agreements can neutralise some protectionism floating around since the financial crisis, though by the time these agreements come into effect, global economy should have recovered.
There are various reasons why there was impasse in Doha Work Programme negotiations in July 2008. In any negotiations, there are certain to be disagreements, including in NAMA (non-agricultural market access) and services. However, these had meeting-points and what led to the July 2008 impasse was agriculture. Within agriculture, it wasn't domestic support or export subsidies. On the former, reduced liberalisation commitments had been agreed to and on the latter, a phase-out by 2013 was also virtually agreed to, though there was an issue over cotton subsidies. In Pascal Lamy's list of July 2008, there were 20 contentious items and one went down them one by one. It got stuck on item 19, which was special safeguards mechanism (SSM) for agriculture.
Safeguards are temporary deviations from liberalization commitments if a deluge of imports causes injury. Given India's high bindings (so tariffs remain high even after reductions from these high bindings), it is probably true that India doesn't really need SSM, even for products like edible oils and dairy. However, these are negotiations and negotiations aren't about liberalisation but reciprocity. Why shouldn't India insist on SSM? Technically, the July 2008 attempt broke down on SSM and disagreements between India and US, though it's possible had item 19 been sorted out, talks would have broken down on item 20 (cotton subsidies) because of US opposition
- Destitute, orphan students outclass rest in Andhra Class 10 exams
- To re-energise ties, PM wants to visit US, waits for confirmation
- NIA court says no terror link, frees 'Hizbul militant' Liyaqat on bail
- CBI arrests its coal allotments investigator on bribery charge
- ‘Cricketer-bookie Amit may have used Jiju to reach Sree’
- BCCI chief N Srinivasan says police must prove spot-fixing allegations