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India, US to meet in Nov on WTO trade talks

Nath said India wanted the stalled Doha Round of WTO talks to start at the earliest.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 13:15 IST

India and the US have agreed to meet next month for resolving differences on farm subsidies and industrial tariffs as part of efforts to resume the deadlocked global trade negotiations.

"India is happy to engage in a dialogue and we plan to have a bilateral meet sometime in the third week of November to move forward on this," Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said after meetings with top US government officials.

Nath said India wanted the stalled Doha Round of WTO talks to start at the earliest, but it could not open its markets to subsidised agricultural products of the US.

"Differentiation needs to be made between commercial farming in the United States and subsistence farming in India," he said.

Nath, who attended an India-US CEOs Forum and also met US Trade Representative Susan Schwab separately, said India was prepared for negotiations with the United States on the subject but its concerns have to be met.

WTO talks were suspended in July after six key trading nations - the US, EU, Australia, Japan, Brazil and India - failed to arrive at an agreement on reducing farm subsidies by rich nations.

The Doha Round, launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, was earlier scheduled to be completed by the end of this year so as to move towards a global trade pact involving 149 WTO member nations.

Resuming the Doha Round of WTO talks was one of the major issues at the meetings he held with US government officials and corporate leaders, Nath said.

But he made it clear that while completing the Doha round was important, the result of the negotiations must not jeopardise the interests of poor and developing nations.

First Published: Oct 27, 2006 13:15 IST