WTO Strikes Historic Deal

The World Health Organization (WTO) recently announced the largest global trade deal in its history. After years of waiting for this deal to go through numerous negotiations, the WTO has finally passed legislation on the first world wide trade reform.

This deal took a whopping 19 years to be passed into law. After years of gridlock the reform became a major priority when food started stockpiling in India. The Indian government has long been against the deal because it simplifies customs regulations across the board. A deal brokered between the U.S. and India on the details of the agreement put the reform back in motion. All 160 members of the WTO had to agree to the deal in order for it to go through and it passed into WTO law on November 27, 2014.

This deal has brought attention to how the WTO should proceed without massive stalemates that last years. India previously stymied the trillion dollar reform due to a disagreement in trade subsidies. Because the WTO requires unanimity among all member states, it is no surprise that this is the first deal affecting global trade reform to pass in 20 years.

The “Bali package” as it is called is important because it boosts the ability for countries across the globe to trade more easily with one another. It decreases trade restrictions that inhibit poor countries from trading with wealthier nations.

Cecilia Malmstrom, WTO commissioner says, “Once in force, it will help developing countries better integrate into the global economy, intensify regional integration and lift millions out of poverty.” Both governments and businesses are expected to benefit from the deal. This multilateral trade agreement is expected to boost jobs as well providing millions of jobs across many countries.

The trade package will make it easier for countries to trade. India will still be allowed to stockpile food based on subsidy agreements. The consensus between India and the U.S. on the trade agreements was a welcomed relief and has allowed for the trillion dollar package to go through.

This deal comes at a critical hour for the global economy. As global inequality between the wealthy and poor countries of the world increases, this WTO reform should help out. The breakthrough should provide other opportunities to increase trade among WTO member states. Reforming global trade regulations will allow countries to benefit from international trade and to support domestic development as well.

– Maxine Gordon

Sources: International Business Times, Reuters, Asia One
Photo: BBC