WTO Doha Round won’t conclude before 2013: KhullarSeptember 23rd, 2011 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) The World Trade Organisation’s Doha Round of talks that have been deadlocked for the last three years are unlikely to be completed before 2013, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said Friday.
“It is not possible to conclude the Doha Round by the end of 2011. It is also crystal clear that it is not going to be possible to do it in 2012 because one country is going to go through a very long, drawn out election at that time,” Khullar told reporters here.
Referring to the upcoming presidential election in the United States, Khullar said domestic politics in the US would not allow any significant breakthrough in the talks for at least two years.
Blaming US for the deadlock, Khullar said, “for the last two years, the United States has not allowed the talks to go on”.
The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, launched in Qatari capital in November 2001, has been deadlocked since 2008 due to differences between the developed and developing countries over the issues such as market access, agricultural subsidies and tariffs.
Khullar also termed as “rude”, the remarks of US ambassador to the WTO Michael Punke, who in a speech in Geneva recently said India’s restrictive trade policy was holding back progress on the talks.
Khullar said India would not change its stand at the WTO under any pressure.
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy during his visit to New Delhi recently expressed hope that the 153-member group would be able to make some progress in breaking the deadlock during the upcoming ministerial meeting in December.
The ministerial meeting, the highest policy making body of the organisation, generally takes place once in two-three years. The 8th round of the meeting is scheduled for Geneva Dec 15-17.
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Tags: agricultural subsidies, ambassador, breaking the deadlock, breakthrough, commerce secretary, developed and developing countries, director general pascal lamy, domestic politics, geneva, market access, member group, michael punke, multilateral trade negotiations, New Delhi, presidential election, rahul, restrictive trade, tariffs, world trade organisation, wto