Home   »   India Invokes Peace Clause for Fifth...

India Invokes Peace Clause for Fifth Consecutive Time at WTO

India has once again utilized the peace clause at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the fifth consecutive time, citing rice subsidies exceeding the prescribed limit during the 2022-23 marketing year. Despite breaching the 10% domestic support ceiling, India faces no immediate repercussions due to the peace clause provision, agreed upon at the 2013 Bali ministerial.

Breach of Subsidy Limit

India’s rice production in 2022-23 amounted to $52.8 billion, with subsidies totaling $6.39 billion, surpassing the 10% domestic support ceiling by 2%. This breach, though acknowledged, doesn’t trigger penalties under the peace clause agreement.

Defense and Advocacy

India justified its actions to the WTO, clarifying that the subsidies were essential for meeting domestic food security needs, particularly for the impoverished and vulnerable population. The government emphasized that these subsidies were not intended to distort trade or adversely impact other WTO members.

Long-standing Demand for Permanent Solution

India has persistently advocated for amendments to the formula determining food subsidy caps and urged for expedited resolutions to the issue of public stockholding. The current subsidy ceiling calculation, based on the reference price of 1986-88, is deemed outdated by India, necessitating an update to reflect current economic realities.

Significance of Permanent Solution

A permanent solution is imperative as certain developed nations have raised concerns regarding India’s minimum support price program, especially for rice. India’s repeated breaches of suggested subsidy limits have drawn scrutiny under WTO trade norms, making a lasting resolution crucial for future trade negotiations and stability.

About WTO

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade.
  • It was established on January 1, 1995, succeeding the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
  • The WTO oversees trade negotiations, resolves disputes between member countries, and sets global trade rules.
  • Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The organization has 164 member countries as of January 2022.
  • WTO agreements cover a wide range of trade-related areas, including goods, services, intellectual property, and dispute settlement.
  • The principle of non-discrimination, particularly the most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment and national treatment, is fundamental to WTO rules.
  • The WTO operates on the basis of consensus among its member states.
  • Regular Ministerial Conferences are held every two years to discuss key trade issues and set priorities for the organization.

India Invokes Peace Clause for Fifth Consecutive Time at WTO_4.1