World Trade Organisation Current Affairs - 2019
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The International Monetary Fund in its World Economic Outlook has suggested various policy measures to arrest the downward growth trend. They are:
- Resolving cooperatively and quickly the trade disagreements which may derail the global trade and addressing the resulting policy uncertainty, rather than further creating harmful barriers and destabilizing an already slowing global economy.
- Accomplishing the call of G20 leaders to reform the World Trade Organization.
- Adjusting the fiscal space where it is low in a growth-friendly manner to ensure public debt is on a sustainable path, while protecting the most vulnerable.
- The monetary policies of advanced economies should continue to normalize carefully by taking necessary steps to address the slowing growth momentum.
- The IMF also advocates for measures to boost potential output growth and enhance inclusiveness across all economies to broaden the growth.
The World Economic Outlook notes that policy space for countries is more limited than in 2008. As a result, multilateral cooperation will be even more important in the event of a sharper decline in global growth. The IMF notes that it is here the multilateral institutions must be equipped with adequate resources to deal with the rising risks.
India is considering bringing together group of 8-10 member countries of World Trade Organisation (WTO) to prepare agenda for creation of conducive atmosphere to ensure smooth functioning of the global trade body.
It would be an informal group within WTO, which may also include nations like Brazil, China, South Africa, China, Indonesia and Columbia. The main idea behind this group is to create proper structured agenda which will be acceptable to all countries to reduce tension. Its main objective is to create conducive atmosphere so that global trading system works well. From India, Union Commerce Ministry will be discussing issue internally and work on structure of the group.
The initiative assumes significance as trade tensions have escalated after United States had imposed high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products. Other WTO members too have retaliated, which is leading to trade war-like situation. In trade wars, countries try to restrict imports by resorting to tariff and non-tax related barriers. Increase in customs duties on product makes that item less competitive in importing nation.
The talks at WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference held in Argentina in December 2017 had collapsed after US went back on its commitment to find permanent solution to public food stockholding issue, a key matter for India. Following collapse of WTO ministerial talks in Argentina in December 2017, India had organised mini-ministerial meeting of about 45 WTO members in March 2018 to revitalise multi-lateral trade body. The objective of meeting was to initiate free and frank discussion on various key issues and challenges facing Geneva-based WTO.
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
WTO is an inter-governmental organization for governments to negotiate global trade agreements and progressively liberalizing trade. It operates system of trade rules that apply to all its members. It is also a place for Member governments to settle their trade disputes. Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland. It was established on 1 January 1995 and its official languages are English, French and Spanish.