ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Trade Distorting Food Security

India needs to stand up for global trade rules which enable public policies to end hunger.

The election of Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, Brazil’s trade envoy and veteran negotiator, to replace the bumbling Pascal Lamy at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as director general could not have come a day sooner. The organisation is facing multiple crises on several fronts, largely due to the disastrous policies pursued by Lamy during his eight-year term. The United States (US) has played a major role in paralysing the Doha Round of trade negotiations since 2003 through its intransigent negotiating positions, especially on agriculture.

Azevêdo will assume office on the eve of the next WTO ministerial meeting in Bali this December which will decide whether the Doha Round should be kept alive or the US and its partners should have a field day in “organ-harvesting” out of Doha, particularly by ramming through an agreement on trade facilitation (TF). The TF agreement contains over 600 square brackets (unresolved differences) and it is aimed at import facilitation in developing countries. For the US and other developed countries, the TF deal is at the heart of further global trade liberalisation without having to undertake any fresh commitments of their own.

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