Better consolidate

| Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 23, 2015

This is with reference to your editorial, ‘Rise of mega trade blocs’ (June 23). Globalisation of economies is irrevocably linked with the healthy growth of world trade. Sadly, even leading nations do not realise this. From the GATT era of battling tariff barriers in international trade, the universal perception across trading nations has remained straitjacketed. After the 2008 global downturn, disagreements still continue in the WTO.

The developed countries give subsidies worth $400 billion every year to farmers but are still considered compliant with WTO rules because they opt for income support to their farmers instead of providing subsidies like India.

In these skirmishes the larger battle for expanded world trade is lost. While individual nations would gladly tap into the advantages provided by globalisation, they show reluctance to share common problems in the interests of increased trade. Global trade has steadily weakened. In good times, the trade generated by a country’s growth bolsters global growth.

As growths decline it is followed by a decline in trade thus setting up a vicious cycle that skews progressive discussions in trade fora, that sees deterrence as an operative part of trade regulation. Consolidation through mega blocs will help faster resolution of needless trade barriers.

R Narayanan

Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

The TPP will be fast-tracked if the Congress gives it the go ahead vote. Which means that every Congressman gets 85 seconds to debate it in the house. This is the kind of urgency showed by the current administration. The trade pact is kept secret; it can be viewed by Congressman but they cannot take notes and they are not allowed to discuss what they saw in the public domain. If they do, they can go to jail.

Last week the US changed a law asking for place of origin label in packaged meat because they lost the case in the WTO. A superpower nation is forced to change their labelling laws to suit MNCs to the disadvantage of consumers. This is the reality in current trade deals and we should be very careful when we negotiate them. We will lose badly when we change our IP policy to suit any trade deal we strike with our trading partners. Even the current TPP will increase the price of drugs in developing countries and make life-saving drugs out of the reach of people. This is the concern expressed by Doctors Without Borders. So let’s not get into trouble by entering into bad trade deals.

CR Arun


An apology is due

Whether or not a new Guinness world record was made on International Yoga Day, Ram Madhav’s discordant tweet left a bad taste in the mouth. A needless and ugly controversy was kicked up over the absence of Vice-President Hamid Ansari. The implication is all too disquieting to be brushed off. It is good the Vice-President’s office clarified that he had not been invited to the yoga celebrations. If the Narendra Modi government wants to clear the air, it needs to apologise to the Vice-President.

JS Acharya


World Bank estimates

With reference to ‘Why we should not trust World Bank forecasts’ by CP Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh (June 23), the estimates may be both right and wrong. The Chinese and Indian economies both developed snags after the crisis in the US. When the World Bank considers the US as the basis of economic growth, it may not be wrong for India and China. However, nothing can be said about the South-East Asian economies as these were unhurt during the crisis.

The World Bank is also considering the deep trouble in the Euro Zone where overall growth rate is hardly 1 per cent. In such cases, all the economies are dependent on investment and trade. But efforts are on by almost all G-20 countries to form blocs so that trade and investment procedures are simplified. Still, the World Bank is not wrong because the basis of growth lies in the US and it has taken the decision to form the TPP alliance. As far as India is concerned it has to achieve double digit growth; definitely it is affected by problems in the developed world.

RK Arya

Faridabad, Haryana

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Published on June 23, 2015
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