Sharma to push for trade deal at OECD Paris meet

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: May 25 2013, 05:31am hrs
At the forthcoming OECD ministerial in Paris, commerce minister Anand Sharma is likely to push for the long-stalled Doha Round of talks for reaching a global trade deal which would be taken up at the ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in December in Bali besides discussing the new US Trade Representative. The OECD ministerial will be held from May 27 to May 31.

The OECD annual forum and ministerial meeting will see informal meetings on issues related to the Doha talks which were launched in 2001and have missed several deadlines due to divergent views on some of the issues, like agriculture subsidies between developed countries like the US and developing nations such as India.

In fact, WTO members, including India and the US, have started a series of meetings to bridge differences over the contentious issues like trade facilitation (TF) pact. Under the early harvest, rich nations, including the US, want India and other emerging economies to be part of the four major sectoral pacts TF, information technology, environmental goods and international services agreement.

The OECD ministerial may set the tone of the WTO talks with India planning to raise key trade-related issues. Besides, the USTR had raised issues on India setting trade barriers, said a commerce ministry official.

The present USTR Ron Kirk has stepped down and White House international economic affairs adviser Mike Froman had been considered the front-runner to succeed Kirk.