The Modi government’s first major international crisis is brewing at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Geneva, where even six months after the Bali ministerial conference, the United States has not allowed progress on talks to ensure permanent protection to India’s food subsidies from WTO caps.

The U.S. is showing no appetite for agriculture issues, high-level Commerce Ministry sources told The Hindu.

To salvage the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek support from BRICS, especially China, on the Geneva negotiations during his visit to Brazil on July 14 and 15 for the summit of this group of nations, sources said.

Nirmala Sitharaman to visit Brazil

Two days ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be in Brazil. Without naming the U.S., Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told presspersons on Wednesday: “At the behest of certain countries, work is progressing for a WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation to come into force by the July 31 deadline the Bali Ministerial had set, but on the other two aspects — permanent solution for food security and issues raised by the Least Development Countries [LDCs] — work is not moving in the manner India would like.”

Keywords: BRICSModiWTOsubsidies

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