In view of the US president’s accusations in Davos, India on Thursday said the WTO’s primary aim is to accord special and differentiated treatment to developing countries including (Least Developing Countries) LDCs.
Asserting that it is not the first time Trump has said something like this, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has always supported the rule-based multilateral trading system of WTO.
“India has continuously supported the rules-based multilateral trading system. We place great value on the WTO and indispensable role of the institution within the ruled based multilateral trading system", he said.
“It’s WTO’s essential principal to give special and differentiated treatment to developing countries including LDCs", Kumar added.
The response comes in the wake of Trump's speech on Wednesday where he also said that he would hold discussions with the WTO chief about reforming the global trade body.
Trump was addressing the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos under the theme "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World" when he said that the US should also be viewed as a "developing nation" similar to India and China.
“We have a dispute running with the WTO for quite some time as our country has not been treated fairly. China and India are 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".
He further added that WTO has been unfair to the US for many years and without its help “China wouldn’t be China”.
This is not the first time Trump has taken aim at the special and differential status enjoyed by developing nations under WTO rules.
Last July, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement that “wealthy countries have abused the WTO by exempting themselves from its rules through the use of special and differential treatment”.