Reacting to Trump, India says special treatment for developing countries is essential principle of WTO

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2020

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar (file photo)   -  REUTERS

Reacting to US President Donald Trump’s fresh allegation that India and China were taking “tremendous advantage” of their developing country status at the World Trade Organization, New Delhi said that special & differential treatment for developing nations and least-developed countries was an essential principle of the multilateral trade body.

“India has always supported a rule-based multilateral trading system. We believe that special and differential treatment for developing countries and LDCs was an essential principle of the WTO,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a briefing on Thursday.

Kumar said that such observations about India’s developing country benefits at the WTO had been made before and its response had been the same.

Speaking at the on-going World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Wednesday, Trump said that it was unfair that while India and China were treated as developing nations, the US was not. He added that the US had a dispute running with the WTO because the country had been treated unfairly and would get into discussions with the multilateral body soon to resolve the matter.

Trump’s comments are important for India especially because talks are on for a visit by the US President to the country soon and bilateral trade and the pending trade agreement was likely to be on top of the agenda.

Responding to a question on Trump raising the Kashmir issue during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Davos, Kumar reiterated that there was no role for any third party in the matter.


“If there are any bilateral issues between India and Pakistan that needs to be discussed, it should be done between the two countries under provisions of the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration. But the onus is on Pakistan to create such conducive conditions that are free from terror, hostility, and violence,” he said.

Published on January 23, 2020

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