US, India Reach Agreement on Food Stockpiling, Clearing The Way For Global Trade Pact

Indian farmers harvest paddy in a field on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, Thursday Nov. 13, 2014. The United States and India said Thursday they had resolved a dispute over stockpiling of food by governments, clearing a major stumbling block to a deal to boost world trade. India is one of the world's largest grain exporters and the low cost of its production and procurement system means it can sway world prices.(AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Indian farmers harvest paddy in a field on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. The United States and India said Thursday they had resolved a dispute over stockpiling of food by governments, clearing a major stumbling block to a deal to boost world trade. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

The United States and India said Thursday they had resolved a dispute over stockpiling of food by governments, clearing a major stumbling block to a deal to boost world trade, according to an Associated Press story.

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India had insisted on its right to subsidize grains under a national policy to support hundreds of millions of impoverished farmers and provide food security amid high inflation.

The U.S. and others in the World Trade Organization, meanwhile, were more focused on ensuring their food exporters weren’t disadvantaged by the possibility of surplus Indian grain flooding the world market.

The dispute had held up implementation of a WTO agreement to reduce customs red tape that the organization estimated could boost global trade by $1 trillion. WTO agreements require ratification by all member countries.

India and the U.S. did not announce details of their new deal, but India had objected to a four-year limit on a so-called “peace clause” that protected developing nations from being punished if they breached the WTO’s cap on food subsidies.

Read more about the agreement here.