economy

WTO members to quiz India on ‘trade distorting measures’ next week

WTO members to quiz India on ‘trade distorting measures’ next week

NEW DELHI : India will face questions from anxious World Trade Organisation (WTO) members at the upcoming Council for Trade in Goods meeting next week on many of its “trade distorting measures in recent months, including curbs on import of pneumatic tyres and air conditioners. While Japan will raise the matter of mandatory certification for steel products and import restriction on air conditioners, Indonesia will raise questions about quality control orders and import restriction in the automotive sector for items such as wheel rims, safety glass and helmets as well as quality control order for plain copier paper. European Union and other countries will raise the matter of import policy on pneumatic tyres and restriction on import of certain pulses, while the US will question India on the order related to the requirement for GM-free certification accompanied with imported food consignments. Japan is “highly concerned that the restriction on import of air-conditioners unfairly pressured companies to reconstruct their supply chains, and is inconsistent with GATT rules and TRIMS agreement. India in October last year imposed a complete ban on import of air-conditioners with refrigerants, further tightening norms on “non-essential imports to encourage local manufacturing and reduce imports from China. “India has repeatedly described that the measure is consistent with the obligation under the Montreal Protocol. However, this import prohibition measure does not distinguish the types of refrigerants, and prohibits any air conditioners with any refrigerants, including the ones with refrigerants that are not subject to India’s obligation to phase out under the Montreal Protocol or under India’s domestic regulations. Japan requests India to answer more specifically on reasons why India considers that the measure can be justified despite such excessiveness, Japan said in September at the Committee on Trade-Related Investment Measures. In particular, with regard to Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), Japan said it understands that India does not yet need to totally phase out its production and consumption for the moment even under the domestic regulation Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2014). “Moreover, with regard to HFC (hydrofluorocarbon), India’s obligation under the Montreal Protocol does not cover HFC, and Japan understands that there are no particular laws and regulations in India that regulate production and consumption of HFC. Against this background, Japan appreciates that India could describe the rationale for prohibiting the charge of any refrigerants into air conditioners only for imports. Japan also appreciates it if India could identify specific laws and regulations in India that regulate production and consumption of HFC, if any, it added. On the import ban on pulses, European Union had earlier at the WTO said that for over three years, India has been telling members that the measure was temporary, but after three years this was clearly not the case. Download.

economy 2021-10-29 Livemint