WTO members strike trade agreement in Bali

Dec. 7, 2013 at 11:18 AM
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BALI, Indonesia, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The World Trade Organization said a trade agreement reached in Bali, Indonesia, and involving 159 countries, could create millions of jobs.

One think tank in Washington has estimated the gains from the agreement could include an additional $1 trillion added to the global economy and support for an additional 20 million jobs.

The BBC reported Saturday the agreement is being viewed primarily as one that facilitates trade. In common vernacular, it is an agreement that aims to cut red tape, the BBC said.

The deal includes lower tariffs for poorer countries and added flexibility to WTO rules concerning farm subsidies for four years.

It calls for a four-year moratorium on complaints filed concerning farm subsidies, a move that was pushed by India, the BBC said.

"For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered," said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo.

"This time the entire membership came together. We have put the 'world' back in World Trade Organization," he said.

John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, a British anti-poverty organization, said the deal does not go far enough to help developing nations.

"The negotiations have failed to secure permanent protection for countries to safeguard the food rights of their peoples, exposing hundreds of millions to the prospect of hunger and starvation simply in order to satisfy the dogma of free trade," he said.

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