Indian trade minister confirms terms of WTO deal at ministerial conference

(MENAFN) Piyush Goyal, the Trade Minister of India, has communicated to Agence France-Presse that his nation will refrain from finalizing any new agreements during the World Trade Organization's Ministerial Conference unless the United States ceases to impede the negotiation of a resolution regarding the dispute settlement mechanism. Goyal made these remarks while attending the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Abu Dhabi. Although he did not explicitly mention the United States, it is widely understood that his statement alludes to the country's actions. Washington's suspension of the organization's trade dispute settlement mechanism in 2019, following years of hindrance in appointing new judges to the Court of Appeals, remains a significant point of contention.

Goyal's arrival in the UAE capital on Tuesday evening preceded his comments, underscoring the importance of the issue at hand. He expressed a belief that the World Trade Organization's operations have effectively reached a standstill, emphasizing the urgent need to address the impasse. Specifically, he stressed the necessity of reinstating an appeals body, implicitly referencing the United States' role in obstructing this process.

The lack of progress in the dispute settlement system, according to Goyal, poses a threat to the potential ratification of new agreements within the organization. Given the requirement for full consensus among the 164 member states, as per the WTO's internal regulations, any impasse in the dispute resolution mechanism could significantly hinder the advancement of crucial agreements. Goyal's stance underscores India's firm commitment to resolving the deadlock surrounding the dispute settlement mechanism and ensuring progress within the framework of the World Trade Organization.


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