The US and India have announced they've reached an agreement on food subsidies, marking a breakthrough on the road to implementing a key WTO trade pact. But the compromise is not a final settlement.
Washington and New Delhi said Thursday they'd finally resolved a row over Indian food subsidies which blocked the world's first global trade agreement earlier this year.
India had refused to back the landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in July, saying it would not endorse it unless its food stockpiles were exempted from possible punitive measures.
The country had argued its stockpiles were essential to help poor farmers and consumers survive in the cut-throat world of business.
Final settlement pending
India and the US agreed that New Delhi's food security programs would not be challenged under WTO rules until a permanent solution regarding the issue was agreed and adopted.
Critics of India's stance have frequently maintained that stockpiling and state subsidies for the poor are trade-distorting practices under WTO rules. Western nations have expressed concerns that such stocks could easily leak onto global markets, skewing trade.
hg/sgb (Reuters, AFP, dpa)