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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
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A Win At The Trade-Off Olympics

India's aggressive stance in Doha matches the superior bargaining power of the rich West. But did Murasoli Maran achieve the impossible?

A Win At The Trade-Off Olympics
A Win At The Trade-Off Olympics
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Just before he arrived at Doha, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution urging USTR Robert Zoellick not to mess with trade defences. Indian commerce minister Murasoli Maran went with a similar cabinet mandate to oppose a new round and negotiations on six issues and seek freer textile exports. On November 14, both made jubilant comments as the Doha ministerial conference of the WTO was declared a success but India seemed to have come out with a plate fuller than Zoellick's. The USTR had to buckle on anti-dumping measures and drug patents, sending its powerful steel and drug lobbies into a tizzy, and with labour standards sent out of WTO to ILO, the Democrats had little to cheer about. India, admit both government and trade experts, is truly "in a win-win situation".

"For the first time, India returned from international trade talks with something tangible to show to the people," gloats Maran, living up to his name (Murasoli means drumbeat in Tamil). As did the developing world. Under the Uruguay Round which launched WTO in 1995, rich countries in effect promised to...
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