INDIA: ‘Include India in cotton subsidy cut talks’ – Commerce Secretary
While addressinga seminar titled “Threat to Multilateralism”, the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Mr Gopalan said that, India should be included in the talks, the US is holding with cotton producing African countries on the prickly issue of subsidy provided by the US to its cotton farmers.
The US, under the Doha round of talks is conducting negotatitions with four African countries, Mali, Chad, Benin and Burkina Faso on subsidy reductions which is directly affecting the cotton prices ruling in international markets, which in turn, is not delivering remunerative cotton prices to farmers of all cotton producing countries.
Mr Gopalan said, “Since we are the second largest cotton producing country, behind China, we should be included in the talks, the US is holding with the African countries and under no circumstances can we be kept out of the talks’. The Doha rounds of talks have been stalled on this contentious issue.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) had ruled, these cotton subsidies as illegal and had requested the US to reduce the US $5 billion subsidy it provides to its cotton farmers, to which the US has still not reacted to though five years have passed. Brazil, in the past had won a ruling in the WTO against these unfair US cotton subsidies.
Added: March 21, 2009 Source: Agencies