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CUTS hails the revival of Doha trade talks

Jan '07
“Global welfare worth billions of dollars is at stake and trade ministers from around the world have taken a right decision to revive the Doha round of trade talks at the political level,” said Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International while welcoming the decision.

Trade ministers from about 30 countries from Asia, Europe and Americas met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held at Davos in Switzerland and decided to revive the stalled negotiations.

“Suspension of Doha Talks and Cost Implications for India”, a study done by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) shows that developing countries like India would incur huge economic loss if the Doha round is not completed soon. The political loss would be much greater than the economic loss.

These countries are much more vulnerable while opening up their trade regime through the bilateral route rather than subjected to a more rules-based and disciplined multilateral regime. There could be due to increased protectionism; increase in trade disputes and so on.

Another study by CUTS on “Concluding the Doha Round” argues: “If the deal could be clinched with the US agreeing to freeze its domestic support at US$15bn, then, it is a matter of US$4bn (from what US is insisting as a cap in its domestic subsidies) only and that too which benefits mostly big agri-businesses of the US. Now, the big question is, should global welfare of billions of dollars, which is likely to result from successful conclusion of Doha round be mortgaged to the US resistance to reduce domestic subsidies by another US$4bn?”

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