The US and India have finally resolved their disagreements on issues that had been stalling a pact to simplify trade procedures - paving the way for the global trade deal to move forward.

The World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade Facilitation was signed in Bali in December last year, but has been blocked by India over concerns its food security programmes would be undermined. A compromise now seems to have been reached, with a statement saying these will not be challenged under WTO rules "until a permanent solution regarding this issue has been agreed and adopted".

Once implemented by the WTO's 160 members, the Trade Facilitation Agreement will simplify international trade flows by streamlining customs procedures worldwide and speeding up port clearances.

Apparel and footwear are among the most heavily traded consumer goods on the planet. "With this deal in hand," commented Juanita Duggan, president & CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) "we can now finally move forward with an agreement that, according to a recent World Economic Forum study, will save the world economy one trillion dollars." 

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