The Far-Reaching Ramifications of WTO’s Ruling Against India’s Sugar Subsidies

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 49 | January 10, 2022

After they forced the government to repeal the three controversial farm laws, and thus to ensure the continuation of the minimum price support mechanism, India’s farmers face yet another challenge, this time from World Trade Organization (WTO). On 14th December, a WTO dispute settlement panel concluded in its report that India was violating its commitments under the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) by granting price support to sugarcane producers and export subsidies to sugar during the period 2014/15 to 2018/19.

This is the first time that the government’s policies to support…

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The Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations at the WTO: The Mirage of Marine Conservation

By Ranja Sengupta | Briefing Paper # 48 | November 23, 2021

In a historic move, the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.6 mandated the World Trade Organization (WTO) to “prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminate subsidies that contribute to IUU fishing …, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiation”.

The developed countries used this mandate to launch active negotiations on disciplining subsidies in coastal fishing under three pillars – IUU fishing,…

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Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference: Current Issues and Future Challenges

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 47 | November 16, 2021

The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization is being convened in Geneva at the end of this month, a year and a half after it was scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan. MC12 is being held at an important juncture when the global trade scenario is quite upbeat. Recent WTO estimates show that global trade volumes could expand by 11 percent in 2021, and by over 4 percent in 2022, and could stabilise at a level higher than the pre-COVID trend.

The buoyancy in trade volumes has…

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Why Emerging Markets Must Remain Wary of a Taper Tantrum 2.0

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 46 | September 24, 2021

On September 22, the US Federal Reserve signaled plans to start reducing its large-scale asset purchases – a process known as tapering – this year and hinted at raising interest rates as early as next year. The formal announcement on tapering could come at the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) scheduled in early November if no major risks materialize and the Fed achieves its maximum employment and price stability goals. “If progress continues broadly as expected, the Committee judges that a moderation in the pace of…

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Can the “Third Way” Foster Technology Transfer to Fight COVID-19 Globally?

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 45 | March 8, 2021

In October 2020, India and South Africa had made a joint proposal to the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking a temporary waiver of the obligations of Members to implement or apply four forms of intellectual property rights (IPRs) for the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19.

The ostensible rationale behind the proposal was to free COVID-related medicines, vaccines, and medical products from the encumbrances of IPRs, which would allow these critical products to be made available to humanity at…

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