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India draws 5 markers at WTO; says no to using pandemic as portal for trade commitments.
May 19, 2020

India’s trade envoy JS Deepak on Friday drew five markers for combating Covid-19 at the World Trade Organization, pushing back against egregious efforts by major industrialised countries to extract trade-liberalisation commitments from India and other developing countries by using the pandemic as a portal.
 
In a hard-hitting intervention at the virtual General Council meeting on May 15, Deepak said: 'The economic hardship and other negative repercussions of Covid-19 make carrying on with negotiations in a business-as-usual format untenable.'
 
Protecting human lives must take precedence over negotiating new commitments, he emphasised.
    

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