WTO says failed to agree global customs pact

WTO says failed to agree global customs pact

PanARMENIAN.Net - The World Trade Organization says its 160 members have failed to agree a global customs pact drawn up in meetings in Bali last December, according to BBC News.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement would have streamlined global customs procedures, and should have been finalised by Thursday, July 31. But it was blocked over a number of rifts, including India's demands for concessions on the stockpiling of food.

The WTO said it had not been possible to find a breakthrough.

"We have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to bridge the gap," WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said.

He asked WTO members "to reflect long and hard on the ramifications of this setback".

U.S. ambassador to the WTO, Michael Punke, said that the failure to agree a deal had "put this institution on very uncertain new ground".

The WTO had seemed to be on the verge of reaching its first comprehensive agreement since it was founded in 1995.

India had said last year that the planned deal could endanger domestic policies designed to help feed its poor.

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