Fronting for the US and EU
To cover the fact that the liberalization agenda was being pushed by the EU and the US, committee members suggested a third country could promote their agenda: ‘Some felt that a small WTO member, such as Hong Kong or Singapore, might be encouraged to take the initiative… The US shared this view that the industrialised world should not be perceived to be pushing its own agenda at this juncture.’
A similar strategy had been proposed by the Coalition of Service Industries (CSI) with respect to free movement of skilled personnel between countries. The idea was ‘to encourage a country like India to be a demandeur, enabling the EU and USA to respond sympathetically.’ Tony Simms, a member of the UK Mission to the WTO and chair of the WTO Working Party on GATS rules, suggested the LOTIS committee approach the Confederation of Indian Industry for this purpose. Over the next couple of months PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) facilitated a paper by the Indians on the topic.