WTO trade deal discussion will dominate as U.S State Secretary John Kerry on official visit to India.
The U.S secretary of State John Kerry arrived in New Delhi, India on Wednesday July 30, 2014. The three day long official visit will see the United Staes engage in an official strategic dialogue for the first time after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the government in May 2014.
The main purpose of the official visit is to coax India to accept the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) trade agreement, the deadline of which happens to be on July 31, 2014.
India stands firm on its decision to oppose the global trade reforms, which according to the WTO could provide the global economy with a trillion dollar stimulus.
Kerry strategically penned a newspaper article along with U.S Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the article which was published hours before Kerry was to arrive in India aimed at emphasizing on the need for dialogue between the two countries.
India’s main bone of contention with the global trade reforms is about the custom rules – that it thinks must be backed up by a parallel agreement that would permit developing countries more freedom to subsidise and stockpile food grains.
Relations between India and the US have been strained due to several clashes over topics like intellectual property rights, climate change and trade.
The two countries had already clashed at the WTO wherein the U.S. had stated that Delhi’s last moment unsteadiness could be a major blow for a deal that had the potential of creating 21 million jobs.
Kerry in an interview with the Economic Times said, “In this regard, as we work with our trading partners around the world, India must decide where it fits in the global trading system. Its commitment to a rules-based trading order and its willingness to fulfil its obligations will be a key indication.”
On the other hand, India still maintains that “all hasn’t been lost”. The Indian official added, “I am sure in the course of the next almost 48 hours there will be suggestions coming from others, and suggestions can come from us also. We will make suggestions. We are very positive and constructive.”
It now remains to see whether or not what President Obama calls a “defining partnership of the 21st century” materializes into fruitful results.