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Donald Trump hints at retaliation if India turns down his drug request

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World Trade Organization

07 April, 2020, 10:04 AM IST



Taiwan seeks formation of WTO dispute panel in case against India's import duties on ICT products

Separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu had filed a case against India, September last year, over imposition of import duties by India on certain ICT products, including telephones for cellular networks.

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WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said cross-border tra...

  • A dispute settlement panel of World Trade Organization (WTO) in its report issued to members on 31 October 2019 has ruled that India's export-related schemes (including SEZ scheme) are in the nature of prohibited subsidies under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and are inconsistent with WTO norms.

    The scheme comes at a time when India’s exports declined for the sixth month in a row in January and face uncertainty due to the spread of the novel Coronavirus. India’s exports were $265.26 billion in the April-January period, a 1.93% decline on-year. The country had clocked $331 billion of exports in 2018-19.

    India was delisted on account of it being a G-20 member and having a share of 0.5% or more of world trade.

    Special and differential treatment for developing countries like India will figure prominently in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 12th Ministerial Conference meet in June in Kazakhstan, an official said.

    The EU initiated dispute proceedings last year alleging India levied excess tariffs than what it had committed to in its tariff schedule at the WTO for products including electronic transformers, telephone sets, particularly cell phones, transmission apparatus for radio or television broadcasting and electronic integrated circuits.

    India insists maximum residue level limits on some food products are much higher than those set by standard setting agencies such as CODEX; $40.7 billion exports till Dec 2019.

    World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dirctor general Roberto Azevedo and World Customs Organisation (WCO) Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya in a joint statement said the two bodies would work closely together to minimize disruption to cross-border trade in goods - in particular those essential to combat the COVID-19 pandemic - while safeguarding public health.

    “Among Asian economies, India's duty for respirators is 10% while for China, the rate is 4%,” the multilateral trade watchdog said in a report on worldwide trade in COVID-19 medical products.

    One fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is that countries are increasingly likely to adopt more and more protectionist measures.

    Bound tariffs are the ceiling rates beyond which countries cannot raise duties. “Simplification of tariffs is something that we have consistently been demanding as part of the agriculture negotiations,” an official in the know of the development said. India raised the subject at a recent meeting on agriculture issues at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    India is demanding exemption from high duties imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to certain domestic products under their Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), greater market access for its products from sectors including agriculture, automobile, automobile components and engineering.

    The Multi-party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA), set up under Article 25 of the Dispute Settlement Undertaking, offers arbitration outside the Appellate Body contingent upon mutual agreement of the parties. The arrangement was finalised on March 27.

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