Asia Pacific

India refuses to budge on subsidies at WTO talks

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman deliver his speech during the plenary session of the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday. (Photo: By Achmad Ibrahim, AP)BALI, Indonesia (AP) — Chances of a breakthrough in global trade negotiations dimmed as India refused to budge on food subsidies that are an obstacle to an eleventh hour agreement at a WTO summit.
 
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Wednesday urged the World Trade Organization's 159 member economies to work past their differences to finalize a slimmed-down deal to boost trade.
 
But Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma left little hope for a breakthrough.
 
His government opposes a provision that could endanger subsidies for grains under an Indian policy to feed its poor.
 
The talks on Indonesia's resort island of Bali will either produce a deal that could boost global trade by $1 trillion or possibly spell the end of the WTO's relevance as a forum for negotiations after a decade of inertia.

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