WTO initiative to raise women's participation in trade

Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed addressing a plenary session at the ongoing WTO 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires Argentina

In what could be termed as a major loss for India at the 11th edition of ministerial conference (MC11) of World Trade Organisation (WTO) at Buenos Aires in Argentina, the issue of food security that was being aggressively pushed by India and China defied consensus even as the four-day multi-lateral trade event came to a close on Wednesday.

Agreeing to the proposition to link gender and trade could lead to advanced countries using their high standards in gender-related policies to not only curb exports from the developing world, but also indirectly restrict developing countries from incentivising their women citizens as part of measures to address developmental challenges, Indian officials said.

"So, we need special provision for India and other developing countries", said Sharma in support of permanent solution for the food security issue.

While the U.S. has alleged that countries with impressionable GDP are availing WTO concessions in the name of "self-proclaimed" development status, India has accused the United States of derailing efforts to solve the world's hunger problem by refusing to endorse public stockholding for food security.

The United States has been blocking recruitment of new appeals judges for several months, exacerbating the risk that the WTO could effectively run out of judges, and piling pressure on other WTO members to accept U.S. plans for reform. We are committed to preserving and promoting the WTO and the multilateral trading system with a view to take the agreed agenda of the WTO forward.

US President Donald Trump has raised numerous concerns over China and its trade practices.

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"Just yesterday, the Minister was very proud to have helped initiate the Joint Declaration on Gender at the WTO as it is one of the ways in which Canada is bringing its Progressive Trade Agenda to the world stage", said in an email Joseph Pickerill, a spokesman for International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

Prabhu met the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Argentina, Jorge Faurie where they discussed issues related to bilateral matters which encompass political, economic, scientific and technological cooperation. Many believe Lighthizer was hinting at India and China, whose GDP growth is over 5%.

The United States, European Union and Japan have united to tackle what they see as unfair or protectionist trade measures used by third countries, in what the US media has described as a shot across the bows of China, the world's biggest goods exporter.

Japan's Trade and Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko said Japan would support efforts to boost reporting standards. The case is before the WTO and a victory for Beijing could dramatically lower tariffs on imports of Chinese goods.

The United States is backing the European Union in its resistance to recognizing China as a market economy, arguing the government unfairly intervenes in the economy.

Without naming the United States, an official statement said, "India is surprised and deeply disappointed that despite an overwhelming majority of members reiterating it, a major member country has reneged on a commitment made two years ago to deliver a solution of critical importance for addressing hunger in some of the poorest countries of the world". "If not delivered, it would affect the credibility of the WTO", said J S Deepak, India s Ambassador to WTO.

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