US-based Christian group supports India on trade talks

August 5th, 2008 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) With the global trade negotiations collapsing in Geneva last week, a US-based Christian organisation has begun supporting the stand taken by India and has urged policy makers to end global hunger. “We need a global economy that works for everyone, rich and poor alike, and not just for a wealthy few,” David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, a Christian organisation that strives to end hunger worldwide, said in a statement in Washington Monday.

Beckmann warned that the recent collapse of the Doha Round of talks in Geneva would adversely affect the world’s hungry and poor people in more ways than the negotiators realise.

“The trading nations of the world put protectionism ahead of hungry and poor people, and it worsened their plight,” said Beckmann.

“That is the real tragedy of the collapse of the Doha Round during this global hunger crisis.”

The Doha Round talks reached an impasse after the US disagreed with the stance of India and China that developing countries can impose emergency tariffs on products like sugar, cotton and rice in case of a sudden rise in imports.

The US wanted to allow emergency tariffs when a country’s imports rapidly increase by 40 percent, while China and India insisted that this threshold should be 10 percent. They offefred to settle for 15 percent.

“This latest Doha Round was a golden opportunity to reduce trade-distorting farm subsidies in wealthy nations, especially in light of soaring crop prices and record prosperity among European and American farmers,” Beckmann said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 862 million people across the world go to bed hungry.

The World Bank estimates that rising food prices are putting an additional 100 million people at risk of falling deeper into poverty.

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