At the WTO’s Ninth Ministerial Conference in December, members reached agreement on a package of issues designed to streamline trade, including a Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). USMEF issued a summary of these promising developments in the Dec. 13 edition of the USMEF Export Newsline.
In recent weeks, however, the sign-up process for the TFA has been sidetracked by India’s insistence on having greater freedom to subsidize and stockpile food supplies – a position supported by some other developing countries. The TFA protocol faced a July 31 deadline for adoption, and intense negotiations this week failed to produce a solution. Statements on these developments were issued Thursday by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.