Long Road Ahead for the Trade Facilitation Agenda

By Julia Marvin

WTO members met in Geneva on July 31 to implement a historic WTO trade agreement that incorporated special provisions for developing countries, allowing for the staggered implementation of trade standards and tailored technical assistance to meet these standards. Of course, this did not happen as India chose to block the WTO consensus needed to implement the agreement unless its food security issues are addressed.

India’s decision to stall out Bali progress has raised concerns that the WTO will not be able to implement the Bali agreement at all. A coalition of 25 developing and developed countries, including Australia, Thailand, and Canada, has asked India to reconsider but so far India’s position has proven intractable.

Cargo inspection a the Port of Jakarta

Cargo inspection a the Port of Jakarta

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Weekly Round-up

This week in development…

  • July 31 was the deadline to formally adopt the Bali package’s trade facilitation agreement. Much to the surprise of many in Geneva, India vetoed the treaty due to unresolved issues regarding food security. Indian officials have since introduced an alternate proposal and are confident that the Bali deal “won’t collapse,” and a new version could be ready by the rollout date of July 31st, 2015.

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