India not to budge on its stand at WTO

By agencies   |   Friday, 26 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: In a clear message to the U.S. and other developed countries, India today categorically said it would not accept any outcome without movement on services at the WTO trade negotiations.

“Movement in services is essential for a balanced outcome in Doha Round. Our major sticking point is we will not accept any outcome without any movement on services negotiations,” India's Ambassador to WTO U.S. Bhatia said.

He said there could be no 'trade-off' on services (for gains in) other sectors and India was concerned about the lack of progress in multilateral negotiations on the sector.

Offers from some of the developed countries like the U.S. have been very disappointing, especially on Mode 4 (movement of natural persons), an area of India's interest.“U.S. offer on services is hardly different from what they had offered in the Uruguay Round”, he said at a FICCI seminar.

However, he said some of the industry organizations in U.S. like Confederation of Services Industries have supported the idea of GATS Visa (short-term visa for professionals) with their legislators.

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman had reportedly said that since tightened security considerations determine immigration and homeland security, policies could not be changed overnight.

On Non-Agriculture Market Access, he said India would not agree to the 'zero for zero' proposal, which entails complete elimination of tariffs in select seven sectors by a fixed date.” We will not agree on zero for zero. It has to be zero plus X,” he said.

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