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WTO chief calls for reform of trade body at Davos

Jan '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
If the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has to deliver and perform its role, it has to be updated, its chief Roberto Azevêdo said at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week. “It has to be changed, it has to be reformed. This is an agenda that is squarely before members....I think they understand that the system has not been functioning properly in many areas," he said.

India and China have taken ‘tremendous advantage’ of their developing country status, according to President Donald Trump, who said at the same forum that he feels the United States too is a developing nation and he would discuss with World Trade Organisation (WTO) chief Roberto Azevêdo the issue of reforming the global trade body. Trump is scheduled to visit India next month.

“We have dispute running with the WTO for quite a while because our country has not been treated fairly. China is viewed as a developing nation, India is viewed as a developing nation, we are not viewed as a developing nation. As far we are concerned, we are a developing nation too. But they get tremendous advantages by the fact that they are considered developing and we are not. They shouldn’t be, but if they are, we are," Trump said.

“We are talking about a whole new structure about the deal. The WTO has been very unfair to the US for many many years. Without it, China wouldn’t be China. China would not be where they are right now. That is the vehicle that they used. Roberto and I have a tremendous relationship and we are going to do something. I think it would be very dramatic. He will be coming with a lot of his representatives to Washington sometime next week or the week after and we will start working on it," global newswires quoted Trump as saying.

Trump in the past also has targeted the special and differential status enjoyed by large developing countries like China and India under WTO rules, asking his trade representative to take necessary action.

The United States wants countries like China and India to give up their ‘developing country’ status given their rapid economic progress.

The US has already submitted a proposal at the WTO stating that as several developing countries like China and India have made significant strides in development, countries that are members of G20 or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as those classified by the orld Bank Was a high income country or those with 0.5 per cent share in world merchandise trade should not get special and differential treatment (S&D) benefits in trade negotiations.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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January 2022

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