India peeved with US for not naming trade negotiating team

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 20:54

New Delhi: India on Tuesday slammed the Obama
administration for not appointing its negotiators at the WTO,
thus delaying conclusion of the already stretched global trade
talks initiated in Doha in 2001.

Describing the outcome of last month`s WTO ministerial
meeting in Geneva as disappointing, Commerce Secretary Rahul
Khullar said that the main hurdle for the trade talks was a
non-serious attitude of the US which is yet to put in place
its negotiators.

"The other nations are saying `look guys your negotiators
are not in place...you cannot take it for ever and ever..." he
said, adding that the US administration is pre-occupied with
its healthcare reform issues. "Trade is not uppermost in
anybody`s agenda (in the US)."

India has repeatedly blamed rich countries, including
the US, for the deadlock in trade talks, especially over their
reluctance to allow poor countries to protect their farmers.

Khullar also said that India is disappointed with the outcome
of the recent WTO Ministerial in Geneva as nothing substantive
was done to resolve the differences to free global commerce.

"Essentially we just went round and round ...we all
pretend (that) we are making great progress. But nothing was
really going on," Khullar said at a Ficci conference here.

Khullar, who was part of the Indian delegation headed by
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, said, "We (WTO
members) did nothing" and spent time discussing trivia and
all those ridiculous details totally irrelevant...to the
substance of the negotiations".

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 20:54

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