WTO reaches historic trade accord

Ending months of deadlock, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently reached an historic agreement – the first major pact reached by WTO members since the multilateral trade body came into existence in 1995 – approving a framework for implementation of a global pact for easing customs norms after acceding to India’s demand to remove constraints on food stockpiling.


WTO reaches historic trade accord


Ending months of deadlock, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently reached an historic agreement – the first major pact reached by WTO members since the multilateral trade body came into existence in 1995 – approving a framework for implementation of a global pact for easing customs norms after acceding to India’s demand to remove constraints on food stockpiling. The accord must now be ratified by two-thirds of the WTO’s 159 individual member countries to come into effect for those countries, which is expected some time next year.

The accord has its more recent roots in the Bali Package of trade liberalisation measures agreed in December 2013 by the WTO’s member states and later branded the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which had effectively resurrected the Doha Round of global trade talks that had been in a state of limbo for well over a decade. India had earlier refused to ratify the TFA in Geneva in late July demanding that WTO members find a permanent solution to the issue of public stock holding of foodgrains to feed its poor. On 13 November India and the US resolved their differences over the public stock holding issue at the WTO, paving the way for implementation of the pending TFA to ease customs norms.