Rift Over Food Security May Break WTO's Trade Deal

The Bali package may fall apart due to differences between industrialized and developing nations on food security issue.

It appears that divisions over food subsidies and food security have widened among members of the World Trade Organization following India's recent refusal to agree to the WTO's trade proposal, making it unlikely a landmark  deal could be reached before talks end today. After 12 years of fruitless negotiation, diplomats warned that failure at a meeting this week on Indonesia's resort island of Bali would devastate the body's credibility, as developed nations turn towards regional and bilateral trade talks.

India has repeatedly said it will not compromise on its policy of subsidizing food for hundreds of millions of poor citizens, and their tough stance has started to gain backers from several developing countries including Bolivia, Cuba, Kenya, South Africa, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

"Countries with maybe more than 75 percent of the world's population stand by India on this issue," Anand Sharma told reporters. "It is better to have no agreement then to have a bad agreement."

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