India violates global trade laws

Picture source - Reuters
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India has violated global trade laws in a dispute over import duties on IT products with the European Union, Japan and Taiwan, a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel has said.

“We recommend that India take such measures in line with its obligations,” the WTO panel’s report released on Monday said. “

In 2019, the EU challenged India’s introduction of import duties between 7.5 and 20 per cent for a wide range of IT products, such as mobile phones and parts, as well as integrated circuits, saying they had exceeded the maximum rate. Japan and Taiwan filed similar complaints the same year.

According to the European Commission, the EU is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for 10.8 per cent of total Indian trade in 2021.

India’s diplomatic mission in Geneva did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would appeal the decision.

If that happens, the case will end legally because the WTO’s top appeals bench is no longer functioning due to U.S. opposition to judges’ appointments.

The WTO panel said India has already brought some of the challenged tariffs in line with global trade laws since last year. While the panel broadly supported complaints against India, it rejected Japan’s claim that New Delhi’s customs notification lacked “predictability”.