SBI PO Exam2017: ‘WTO crisis? Donald Trump may deal a knockout punch; US disregard for multilateralism could spread elsewhere too’
There are several ways to improve your vocabulary. One of the primary and recommended ways is to read voraciously. When you read, you see words being used in context and that’s what makes it much more effective rather than memorising words. Don’t start with a book full of jargons; instead search for some easy materials. Make friends with the dictionary. You will not only find the exact meaning of the word but you will be exposed to its spelling, alternate definitions, their synonyms and antonyms etc. Use the ‘Kaizen’ way of growing your vocabulary by making an effort to learn a new word every day. No matter busy you are, you should be committed to learning at least one new word each day.
Article: WTO crisis? Donald Trump may deal a knockout punch; US disregard for multilateralism could spread elsewhere too
For a long time, mega-RTAs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were being argued to be major threats for the salience of the WTO. The US withdrawal from the TPP a few weeks ago was thought to have taken the wind out of the sails of mega-RTAs and revived the prospects of the WTO. But the just announced 2017 Trade Policy Agenda of the US—the first trade policy document of the Donald Trump administration—has created a crisis for the WTO that is much more serious than what the mega-RTAs had.
The Trade Policy Agenda emphasises that a major thrust of future US trade policy would be: ‘Resisting efforts by other countries – or Members of international bodies like the World Trade Organization (WTO) – to advance interpretations that would weaken the rights and benefits of, or increase the obligations under, the various trade agreements to which the United States is a party. (‘2017 Trade Policy Agenda and 2016 Annual Report’ of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program; Page 2). The emphasis is strong and blunt, removing all scope of reading between the lines. The short point is that the US would no longer accept rulings of the WTO if those were inimical to its interests. The policy agenda also spells out that the Trump administration would firmly defend American sovereignty in trade policy issues. This makes it doubly clear that WTO’s rulings, particularly in disputes involving the US, would not necessarily lead to changes in US policies if such changes did not suit US interests.
The US reflections on the WTO need to be seen in light of a clear disregard on part of the Trump administration for multilateral and regional trade frameworks and preference for bilateral trade deals fixing reciprocal market-access on the US’s terms. It’s interesting that most American bilateral FTAs have already been doing so. Much of the TPP, too, has been negotiated in line with US interests and written in language identical to other US FTAs. Thus, while the Trump administration is maintaining the posture of its predecessors in getting the maximum for the US from deals it would negotiate, it is different in its disregard of regional and multilateral trade rules. Most ostensibly, it has little interest in projecting itself as committed to multilateral and regional initiatives. This is in contrast to the earlier US administrations, particularly the Obama administration, which, while ensuring US remains the major driver of global trade policy, didn’t abandon collective rule-making.
The US’s disregard for multilateral trade rules would have severe consequences for the WTO. If the world’s largest economy begins disrespecting the sanctity of WTO’s dispute settlement, it might encourage others to follow suit. The biggest risk is if countries begin valuing bilateral trade deals with the US so much that they drift away from the WTO. Considering the WTO as a slow, indecisive and fractured framework is not the same as walking away from it. The WTO has just got its biggest shot-in-the-arm in several years by implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in goods. But it has hardly had time to rejoice. The US Trade Policy Agenda hits WTO where it hurts the most: the WTO’s credibility as an arbiter of trade friction. If national regulations remain un-impacted by it’s decisions on trade disputes, then the WTO practically becomes meaningless.
China has affirmed its faith in the WTO and the multilateral trade framework soon after the US went public with its trade policy. This was expected, as China would now be able to position itself, as opposed to the US, as a supporter of multilateralism and global trade order. This would enable it to attract considerable political capital, particularly support from poor and small economies, which depend critically on the WTO for increasing their shares in world trade. China might eventually be inclined to influence the working of the WTO in a manner that suits itself. China, too, while not taking on the WTO, would not be inclined to let the WTO decisions overpower its own rules and systems. What this might mean in the long-term is the US-China relationship getting structuralised around their ‘use’ of the WTO.
A more proximate concern for the WTO at this point in time would be if more and more countries begin taking cues from the US in declaring their sovereign laws superior to the WTO. This would mean an across-the-board decline in commitment to economic multilateralism. But this might well happen if assurance of security by the US leads many countries across the world to agree to US-driven FTAs that also, implicitly, encourage disregard of the WTO in favour of US trade laws. The US has enough economic muscle backed by positive prospects on productivity growth to remain a major engine of economic growth for the world in the days to come. That would give it the leverage to work out one-on-one trade deals the way it wants and from a ‘transactional’ perspective as president Trump insists. Such a way of doing business around the world is going to hit the WTO very hard.
1. Salience (noun) (विशेषता): Salience refers to the fact of being important to or connected with what is happening or being discussed.
Synonym: Influence, consequence, distinction, eminence
Antonym: Insignificance, unimportance, ordinary, groove
Sentence: The socio-economic salience of investment has a considerable impact on the savings.
2. Inimical (adverb) (प्रतिकूल): Inimical refers to something which is harmful or limiting to health.
Synonym: Antagonistic, contrary, adverse, unfavorable
Antonym: Aiding, assisting, favorable, friendly
Sentence: Although I tried to avoid my seniors but they always goes out of their ways to be inimical to me.
3. Sovereignty (noun) (प्रधानता): Sovereignty refers to have supreme power or authority in government or claimed by a state or community.
Synonym: Dominance, jurisdiction, supremacy, ascendancy
Antonym: Submission, subordinate, enslaved, subservient
Sentence: I am a firm believer of our national sovereignty.
4. Multilateral (adjective) (बहुपक्षीय): Multilateral is defined as having members or contributors from several groups, especially several different countries.
Synonym: International, multifaceted, interracial, transnational
Antonym: Unilateral, mutual, partial, nonreversible
Sentence: The multilateral negotiations with United Arab Emirates during the republic day were talk of the town.
5. Reciprocal (adjective/noun) (पारस्परिक): Reciprocal refers to given or felt by each toward the other or something that has a relation to something else.
Synonym: Exchanged, complementary, mutual, correlative
Antonym: Dissimilar, unequal, independent, different
Sentence: After her brilliant on-stage performance, she was hoping for some reciprocal comment or gesture from the audience.
6. Ostensibly (adverb) (प्रकट रूप से): Ostensibly is something that appears or is stated to be true, though not necessarily.
Synonym: Apparently, evidently, supposedly, seemingly
Antonym: Improbably, unlikely, obscurely, actually
Sentence: The CEO was fired from the office, ostensibly from non-performance.
7. Sanctity (noun) (पवित्रता): Sanctity refers to the holiness of life and character or the quality of being holy or sacred.
Synonym: Divinity, faith, solemnity, spirituality
Antonym: Meanness, profanity, vileness, atheism
Sentence: The sanctity of the human life is to keep on progressing towards their goal.
8. Proximate (adjective) (अनुमानित): Proximate refers to the next or nearest person or thing.
Synonym: Direct, forthcoming, imminent, nearby
Antonym: Distant, ultimate, distal, eventual
Sentence: Rising prices of the crude oil could be the proximate reason behind recession.
9. Arbiter (noun) (न्यायकर्त्ता): Arbiter is a person with a power to decide or dispute or judge.
Synonym: Mediator, moderator, referee, adjudicator
Sentence: The arbiter of the state passed the unbiased judgement regarding the domestic violence case.
10.Affirmed (verb) (स्वीकार करना): Affirmed refers to establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts.
Synonym: Assert, confirm, declare, guarantee
Antonym: Deny, forget, veto, refute
Sentence: The president affirmed the country’s commitment to peace and negotiations.
Question (1-5): Answer the following as directed.
1. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘emphasis’ (महत्त्व)
Solution: Option (1)
Explanation: The given word refers to provide particular importance or attention that is given to something. So, from theabove-given options, option (1) is a right choice as the synonym of the word.
2. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘inclined’ (झुका हुआ)
Solution: Option (4)
Explanation: The given word describes the likeliness or wanting to do something. Hence, from the given options, option (4) is the correct choice as the synonym of the word.
3. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘transactional’ (लेन-देन)
Solution: Option (2)
Explanation: The given word refers to an interaction of an individual with one or more persons. So, from the given options, option (2) is an apt choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
4. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘implicitly’ (निस्संदेह)
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word refers to something which is implied, rather than stated expressly. Hence, from the given options, option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
5. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘disregard’ (बेपरवाही)
Solution: Option (4)
Explanation: The given word is defined as the fact of showing no one care or respect for something. Therefore, from all the above options, option (4) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
Word of the Day
Meaning (English) – is a person who is extremely skilled at something,
especially at playing an instrument.
Meaning (Hindi) – गुणी कलाकार
Synonyms – Prodigy, wizard
Antonyms – Amateur, rookie
Example – Even though that virtuoso died
but his music is still being performed on stage.
उदाहरण – भले ही उस कलाकार का निधन हो गया लेकिन उसका संगीत अभी भी मंच पर किया जा रहा है।