Published: Wed, March 21, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

WTO members say U.S. actions threaten trade body's credibility

WTO members say U.S. actions threaten trade body's credibility

Prabhu also said a senior Chinese trade minister will be coming to India next week to hold talks over the huge trade deficit.

WTO member countries on raised concern over the USA administration's decision to increase import duty on aluminium and steel products, fearing escalation of trade war.

US President Donald Trump has pressed ahead with import tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent for aluminum, but exempted Canada and Mexico and offered the possibility of excluding other allies, backtracking from an earlier "no-exceptions" stance.

Nor will it will not see India discussing issues such as the United States lodging a case against the country earlier this week to the DSB over its export promotion schemes, she added. The trade environment globally is very risky at this point of time.

Amid the USA trade protectionist policies posing an apparent threat to the global commerce, the WTO member countries on Tuesday expressed concern about potential escalation of such a move but Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said dialogue was the only solution to trade related issues. The US has demanded reform in the functioning of the WTO to meet the changed circumstances.

The minister also said that the overwhelming feeling was that though countries have their differences, they need to find a way.

The appointment of members to the appellate body of WTO, Doha Development Agenda, subsidy on fisheries, e-commerce, investment facilitation and gender issues were discussed.

The meeting, that started today, also assumes significance as the global trade appears fragile with certain developed countries threatening to retaliate the duty hike on steel and aluminium products by the Trump administration. "That is how we can handle this", said Azevedo. Addressing a press conference after the Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting here, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu said: "Every country will have a different response to it".

India is hosting an informal mini-ministerial meeting of the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which is being attended by representatives of 50 countries.

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