World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy has been working to get India and the United States to a point of compromise on a proposed safeguard mechanism. That mechanism is designed to enable developing countries to protect poor farmers by raising tariffs to counter a surge in subsidized imports. This was the major sticking point that ended negotiations at last month's ministerial meeting in Geneva.
A week ago Lamy was in India, discussing the situation with Indian leaders. Thursday and Friday he is in Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. Schwab wants to hear if Lamy thinks India is prepared to come back to the table and negotiate in good faith.
Schwab says the United States is prepared to leave its latest offers on the table, but only if other countries are more forthcoming with market access. Also, Schwab says trade officials want to freeze the July 25 package and move forward from there.