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Still No Consensus On Food Security, Trade Facilitation On WTO Meeting’s Final Day

“A consensus still eludes the 159 member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on issues of trade facilitation and food subsidy on the final day of the ninth ministerial talks of the group,” the Financial Express reports. “After hectic parleys with India and the U.S. that lasted until early Friday morning, another informal meeting by WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo with all members also failed to yield results,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Indications are that a final declaration from the summit may be delayed to either late Friday evening or even Saturday morning” (Surabhi, 12/6). “India wants a solution to its demands to exempt food security plans from being counted under subsidy spending caps, while the U.S. is concerned surplus from India’s food program may get dumped onto world markets,” Bloomberg notes. “Failure to reach an agreement on a Bali package including trade facilitation would diminish confidence in the 159-member [WTO], its spokesman Keith Rockwell said yesterday,” the news agency writes, adding, “Members have been negotiating the Doha round of trade talks for 12 years and this week’s meeting is seen as the last chance for a deal” (Chatterjee, 12/5).