UPDATE 4-India-U.S. deal revives WTO and hope of world trade reform

Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:53am EST
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* India-U.S. deal paves way to ratify trade facilitation accord

* Indian PM Modi was facing isolation at first G20 summit

* Indian blockade had plunged 160-member WTO into crisis (Recasts, adds quote)

By Manoj Kumar, Krista Hughes and Tom Miles

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON/GENEVA, Nov 13 (Reuters) - India and the United States settled a dispute on Thursday that had paralysed the World Trade Organization and risked derailing a $1 trillion package of reforms of global customs procedures.

The deal, which needs to be backed by all 160 WTO members, has resurrected hopes that the trade body can now push through those reforms, opening the way up for further negotiations.

India had plunged the WTO into the deepest crisis in its 20-year history in July by vetoing a deal on streamlined customs rules due to a lack of progress on its demands to be allowed to stockpile food without observing the usual WTO rules on agricultural subsidies.

That put the WTO's future in doubt just months after it appeared to have overcome decades of stalemate on the issue at a meeting in Bali in Indonesia.

"This breakthrough represents a significant step in efforts to get the Bali package and the multilateral trading system back on track," WTO director general Roberto Azevedo said.   Continued...