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WTO talks collapse, no agreement on food security

Buenos Aires, December 14 : Bringing disappointment to developing countries like India, the talks at the WTO’s 11th ministerial conference collapsed, with the US going back on its commitment to find a permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue. The four-day conference, which ended without a ministerial declaration or any substantive outcome, did manage to make some feeble progress on fisheries and e-commerce by agreeing to work programmes.
As the US refused to engage, the 164-member World Trade Organisation (WTO) failed to reach a common ground for resolving the food security issue, a demand raised prominently by India.
Even after hectic parleys, intense lobbying and prolonged posturing, the member nations failed to break an impasse over public food stockholding, disappointing a number of member states, especially the developing ones.Following the breakdown of talks, there was no ministerial declaration, though conference chair and Argentinean Minister Susana Malcorra made a statement highlighting the developments.
For India, failure to successfully push the food security issue was a disappointment, but the officials took comfort from the fact that the country did not yield any ground on other issues and kept its defensive interests in various fields intact.The fate of the ministerial conference was sealed after Assistant US Trade Representative Sharon Bomer Lauritsen in a small group meeting said permanent solution to the food stockholding issue was not acceptable to America.

About Jatin Kamboj