The biggest challenge for the World Trade Organization, or WTO, is its own existence. The biggest threat comes from the US, which has already pulled out of several multilaterals, including Trans-Pacific Partnership, North American Free Trade Agreement, and commitments made at COP 21 to cut carbon emissions. At the 11th ministerial conference of the WTO at Buenos Aires, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer questioned several WTO procedures and stalled the permanent solution on public stockholding for food security.
But Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu believes that India needs the WTO more than ever before. In February, India is organising a 'mini-ministerial' in Delhi to work out the modalities to strengthen processes at the WTO. He says global trade can help India give a big push to growth. "The need for organisations like the WTO becomes more relevant," he said.