Ahead of United States President Donald Trump's visit to India in February, Trump on Wednesday said that India and China have taken “tremendous advantage" because of their developing country status. He also stated that he would hold discussions with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) chief for reforming the global trade body.
Addressing the media at the World Economic Forum in Davos Trump said, “We have dispute running with the WTO for quite a while because our country has not been treated fairly. China is viewed as a developing nation, India is viewed as a developing nation, we are not viewed as a developing nation. As far as we are concerned, we are a developing nation too. But they get tremendous advantages by the fact that they are considered developing and we are not. They shouldn’t be, but if they are, we are."
Further, Trump said he will soon hold discussions with Azevedo to bring in dramatic changes in the trade body. “We are talking about a whole new structure about the deal. The WTO has been very unfair to the US for many many years. Without it, China wouldn’t be China. China would not be where they are right now. That is the vehicle that they used. Roberto and I have a tremendous relationship and we are going to do something. I think it would be very dramatic. He will be coming with a lot of his representatives to Washington sometime next week or the week after and we will start working on it," Trump added.
The US wants countries like China and India to give up their “developing country" status given their rapid economic progress. The US has already submitted a proposal at the WTO stating that as several developing countries such as China and India have made significant strides in development, countries that are members of G20 or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In a paper submitted to the WTO in February this year, India, China, South Africa, and Venezuela said self-declaration of developing member status had been long-standing practice and best serves the WTO objectives. The paper said the persistence of the enormous development divide between the developing and developed members of the WTO is reflected on a wide range of indicators such as levels of economic development, GDP per capita, poverty levels, levels of under-nourishment, production and employment in the agriculture sector, among others.
(with agencies input)