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3) Examine how US actions are undermining the mandate of WTO? Discuss the impact of lessening importance of WTO for India?(250 words) 

Topic – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate; Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

3) Examine how US actions are undermining the mandate of WTO? Discuss the impact of lessening importance of WTO for India?(250 words) 

Financial express

Why this question

The article explains the various steps being taken by USA under Trump that undermines the importance of WTO, and explains the wider implications of such action. This is going to have a significant impact on all trading nations including India which has been trying to negotiate a mega regional trade deal. The question is important as free trade among nations is the casualty in current climate of anti globalisation and anti trade.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the actions taken by USA which is undermining the status of WTO and the impact of such actions on other nations. Thereafter, we need to discuss what it means for India and how India is responding to the challenge. Finally, way forward needs to be given.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give a background of the role played by WTO and how USA had played a pivotal role in the establishment of a rules based free trade among nations.


  • Highlight US actions which are undermining the trading order – diatribe against rule based free trade under the mandate of WTO, frequent recourse to the exception clause of national security ( which Pakistan has been using to deny MFN status to India) , restrict trade in steel and aluminium with trading partners, unilateral trade action against China under Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, the US gives up even the pretence of acting within the WTO framework, the retaliatory measures taken by other countries, non implementation of WTO rulings by USA, taken a stand which impacts the dispute resolution process of WTO etc
  • Examine what it means for the consensus established after much difficulty to create a rule based trading order.
  • Discuss the impact on India – investment across borders is likely to get impacted, capital flows might get impacted, India will have to negotiate mega regional trade deals to fill the void, the impact of which on Indian economy is uncertain etc

Conclusion – Give your view on what India’s position should be and the way forward.