EU and US block India's proposals on fish and farm subsidies

  • Negotiations at the WTO's Ministerial Conference on fish and farm subsidies have hit a roadblock, with developed countries resisting the demands of developing nations.
  • Reports indicate that the EU and US are specifically opposing India's proposal, which aims to exempt countries with national incomes below a specific threshold level from subsidy cuts.1 Their apprehension stems from the concern that this exemption would enable most developing countries to avoid subsidy reductions.
  • Despite this roadblock, green room meetings are ongoing as efforts to find common ground persist.2
  • The US plans to submit a proposal on forced labour, separate from the draft text on fisheries subsidies. This move follows opposition from WTO members, including India, against introducing forced labour language in a fisheries deal.3

US Trade Chief Katherine Tai suggests that an agreement on the WTO Dispute Settlement System is not happening during MC13

  • During an interview with reporters on Wednesday, United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai stated that an agreement on WTO Dispute Settlement Appeals reform would not be reached this week.4
  • She further emphasized that negotiations on dispute settlement would continue beyond the conclusion of the MC13 proceedings.

India creates a three-point plan to revive the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB)

  • India has sought immediate and effective formalization of the informal Dispute Settlement Reform process by rectifying the procedural and substantive defects.5 Consequently, India has proposed a three-point action plan6
    • Shift dispute settlement reform discussions to WTO formal bodies, ideally under the Dispute Settlement Body Chair's guidance.
    • Allow members to introduce new proposals at any stage, ensuring the resulting text fully represents the room's views and is consensus-based.
    • Prioritize the restoration of the WTO Appellate Body.
  • There are reports that in closed-door meetings India has held a position that it will not finalize any new deals at WTO MC13 unless the US stops blocking the WTO DSB's reform.7
  • On the other hand, US has questioned the need to formalise the reform process since the informal talks in Geneva were apparently satisfactory. The US maintains that addressing the technical aspects of the reform process is contingent upon resolving politically sensitive issues through informal talks, which are currently ongoing in Geneva.8

India boycotts talks with Thailand on 'subsidised rice' remark made by the Thai Ambassador

  • A diplomatic row has erupted following remarks by Thailand's Ambassador to the WTO, Pimchanok Vonkorpon Pitfield, accusing India of leveraging 'subsidised' rice designated for its public distribution system to gain an advantage in the export market.
  • In response, Indian negotiators have abstained from participating in certain group deliberations in which Thailand Representatives were present.

New supplementary provisions might be attached to the renewal of moratorium on E-commerce duties

  • Negotiations to extend the WTO's moratorium on electronic commerce duties are expected to incorporate provision for an e-commerce work program, mandating members to establish clear definitions for the moratorium.9
  • Industry stakeholders express concern that this requirement may complicate future renewals of the moratorium.10



2 Ibid




6 Ibid




10 Ibid

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