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TH: Stalemate at WTO: On U.S. obstructionism
The 11th biennial ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation ended in a stalemate, with countries divided along industrial and developing lines. India is seeing the outcome as a partial success; none of its “offensive” interests were achieved, but its “defensive” interests remain protected. While India’s push to ensure a consensus around a ‘permanent solution’ to the public stockpiling of food for food security purposes was thwarted by the U.S., the “peace clause”, under which countries would not lodge complaints against developing country subsidies to meet their food security needs, remained in place. The failure of industrial countries to fast-track e-commerce talks, and commitments that reductions in fishing subsidies would not be discussed at least until the next ministerial in 2019, are being seen by India as points in its favour. The rift between advanced economies and the rest was apparent. Industrial countries have been keen on moving the agenda forward from development, which was the stated focus of the Doha Round that began in 2001. Developing countries want Doha Round commitments to be fulfilled before topics of interest to the West — such as e-commerce and market access for small enterprises — are discussed. The U.S. has said it wants to clarify its understanding of “development”, and contended that members were using it to gain exemptions from rules, and that some of the richest countries (presumably in absolute and not per capita GDP terms) were claiming this status. It also issued a joint statement with the European Union and Japan, aimed primarily at China, on trade-distorting practices such as over-capacity and mandatory technology transfer policies, while India and China submitted a proposal to end the trade-distorting farm subsidies of Western nations.
President Donald Trump’s disdain for multilateral forums and agreements, which he sees as opportunities for countries to take advantage of America, was reflected in Buenos Aires. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer left before the conference concluded, leaving a leadership vacuum that his EU counterpart, Cecilia Malmström, unsuccessfully tried to fill. In fact, since Mr. Trump assumed office, the administration has blocked the reappointment of judges to the appellate body of the WTO, despite the U.S. being a frequent user of the dispute resolution mechanism. India rightly argued that while its GDP may be growing, the country has hundreds of millions living in poverty and without food security. While India can, and must, develop a multi-pronged approach to end hunger, it is correct to seek clarifications that its sovereign right to provide subsidies for food security is not compromised by the WTO. What has become clear in Buenos Aires is that India cannot rely on the Trump administration for support on crucial trade issues at multilateral forums.
- Consensus – आम सहमति
Meaning – a general agreement.
Synonyms – agreement, harmony, concord, like-mindedness, concurrence, consent, common consent, accord, unison, unity, unanimity, oneness, solidarity, concert.
Antonyms – disagreement.
Usage – there is a growing consensus that the current regime has failed.
2. Stockpiling – एकत्रीकरण
Meaning – accumulate a large stock of (goods or materials).
Synonyms – store up, amass, accumulate, hoard, cache, collect, gather, pile up, heap up, lay in, put away, put/set aside, put down, put by, put away for a rainy day, stow away, keep, keep in reserve, save; informalsquirrel away, salt away, stash away.
Usage – food and ammunition had been stockpiled.
3. Thwarted – नाकाम
Meaning – oppose (a plan, attempt, or ambition) successfully.
Synonyms – baffle, balk, beat, bilk, check, circumvent, confuse, counter, crab, cramp, crimp, cross, curb, dash, defeat, disappoint, ditch, dodge, double-cross, duck, foil, foul up.
Antonyms – aid, assist, encourage, forward, help.
Usage – the government had been able to thwart all attempts by opposition leaders to form new parties.
4. Lodge – लॉज
Meaning – a small house at the gates of a park or in the grounds of a large house, occupied by a gatekeeper, gardener, or other employee.
Synonyms – gatehouse, cottage, toll house.
Antonyms – dislodge, get out.
Usage – the porter’s lodge.
5. Apparent – स्पष्ट
Meaning – clearly visible or understood; obvious.
Synonyms – evident, plain, obvious, clear, manifest, visible, discernible, perceptible, perceivable, noticeable, detectable, recognizable, observable; unmistakable, crystal clear, as clear as crystal, transparent, palpable, patent, distinct, pronounced, marked, striking, conspicuous.
Antonyms – doubtful, dubious, equivocal, hidden, improbable, obscure, questionable, real, uncertain, unclear, unlikely.
Usage – their relief was all too apparent.
6. Concluded – निष्कर्ष निकाला
Meaning – bring or come to an end..
Synonyms – finish, end, come to an end, draw to a close, wind up, be over, stop, terminate, close, cease; culminate.
Antonyms – uncertain, undecided, unfixed, unpredictable.
Usage – the meeting concluded at 9 o’clock.
7. Appellate – अपीलीय
Meaning – (especially of a court) concerned with or dealing with applications for decisions to be reversed.
Usage – courts of appellate jurisdiction.
8. Sovereign – प्रभु
Meaning – a supreme ruler, especially a monarch.
Synonyms – ruler, monarch, supreme ruler, Crown, crowned head, head of state, potentate, suzerain, overlord, dynast, leader; king, queen, emperor, empress, prince, princess, tsar, royal duke, grand duke, elector, crown prince, princeling, prince regent, mogul, baron, liege (lord), lord, emir, sheikh, sultan, maharaja, raja; historicalatheling.
Antonyms – inferior, submissive, subservient.
Usage – the Emperor became the first Japanese sovereign to visit Britain.
9. Rely – भरोसा करना
Meaning – depend on with full trust or confidence.
Synonyms – depend, count, bank, place reliance, bargain, plan, reckon; anticipate, expect, pin one’s hopes on, hope for, take for granted, take on trust, trust; be confident of, have (every) confidence in, be sure of.
Antonyms – be independent, distrust, doubt.
Usage – I know I can rely on your discretion.
10. Multilateral – बहुपक्षीय
Meaning – agreed upon or participated in by three or more parties, especially the governments of different countries.
Usage – multilateral negotiations.