P.S. Suryanarayana

SINGAPORE: The East Asia Summit (EAS), a "leaders-driven forum' with India, as also China and Japan in its fold, "is studying the feasibility of a free trade area among its 16 countries.'

D Ravi Kanth / Geneva July 23, 2008, 0:29 IST

As the negotiating chips are slowly unveiled in the make-or-mar Doha trade negotiations, the United States announced today that it will reduce its overall trade-distorting domestic support (OTDS) to $15 billion as compared to a range between $13 billion and $16.4 billion.

With OTDS being central issue trade negotiators said the latest move by the US was too little compared to its last year spending level of about $7 billion.

(GENEVA) - The European Union offered Monday to make deeper tariff cuts on agricultural imports in order to spur progress in deadlocked trade talks, but the move was quickly dimissed by Brazil as "propaganda."

"We're in a position to raise our average tariff cuts from 54 percent to 60 percent," EU trade spokesman Peter Power said.

"This is a very considerable advance and it is a very substantial improvement and should inject important momentum into discussions in Geneva this week."

CHENNAI: India should reject the WTO draft agreements on Agriculture and Non-Agriculture Market Access as the provisions are detrimental to the country's interests, the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said on Monday.

K.G. Kannabiran, president, PUCL, noted in a press release that the draft allowed farm subsidies in the U.S. to increase to between $13 billion and $16.4 billion, while forcing developing nations such as India and Brazil to cut their import tariffs by about 36 per cent on average.
"Will hit markets'

D Ravi Kanth / Geneva July 22, 2008, 3:16 IST

D Ravi Kanth / Geneva July 22, 2008, 0:11 IST

Trade ministers from over 30 countries began their crucial World Trade Organization (WTO) trade talks here today to hammer out modalities(parameters) in the Doha Development Agenda.

Instead of hard negotiations to find convergence on the final numbers for tariff and subsidy cuts for Doha agricultural products and tariff cuts for industrial products, the first day was spent on political statements and mild mutual recriminations.

D Ravi Kanth / Geneva July 21, 2008, 0:24 IST

Amid uncertainty over the mini-ministerial meeting starting today, the two powerful trade chiefs of the United States and the European Union sought India's assistance to break the deadlock over sectoral tariff elimination and the anti-concentration provision in return for supporting New Delhi's demand on enhanced flexibilities for special products and special safeguard mechanism, Business Standard was told.

D Ravi Kanth / Geneva July 19, 2008, 0:59 IST

In rather blunt and uncompromising terms, India has made it known to key industrialised countries at the World Trade Organization (WTO) that New Delhi must secure enhanced flexibilities to address the special products and special safeguard mechanism and commensurate responses to its offers in Doha services negotiations in order to accept an agreement on the modalities in Doha Development Agenda agriculture and market-opening for industrial goods.

B. Muralidhar Reddy COLOMBO: India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday finalised the long-pending draft Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that would boost not only trade but also open up services and investment sectors. The contours of CEPA were concluded during the two-day talks between the Indian team led by Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai and his counterparts in the island nation.

K. Venugopal Reviewing Progress: U.S. President George W. Bush with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the G8 summit in the resort of Toyako on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Wednesday. The two leaders discussed many issues, including the nuclear deal. Mr. Bush said "it was a typical conversation among friends.'