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India-US deal ends WTO impasse on food stockpiling: Govt

India-US deal ends WTO impasse on food stockpiling: Govt

New Delhi: Announcing an end Thursday to the impasse over the WTO accord to ease global customs rules, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that an agreement has been reached with the US on the issue of food stockpiling.

The deal opens the way to implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which had eluded the World Trade Organisation members in July, she added.

India has asked for a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes and not a restricted period of four years as was originally decided during the WTO ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia last year.

"Point of difference was there (with the US) that the Bali agreement was imperfect, which had to be corrected. It's a course correction that we wanted," Sitharaman told reporters here.

"... We're moving forward in a constructive manner," she added.

Without making them public for the moment, Sitharaman said India's proposals would now be put forward to the WTO General Council for approval.

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