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US, Singapore, Taiwan seek to join consultations in WTO dispute over India's tariffs on ICT goods

Date: 24 April 2019 Tags: World Economy

United States (US), Singapore and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) have expressed their interest to join consultations sought by European Union (EU) under World Trade Organization's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism against India's import duties on certain Information Communication and Technology (ICT) products, including mobile phones. As per the WTO rules, these three countries would have to seek approval from India and EU to join the consultation process.

Background

In April 2019, EU dragged India into the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism over imposition of import duties on these products, alleging breach of global trade norms. EU has challenged introduction of import duties by India on wide range of ICT products, for instance, mobile phones and components, base stations, integrated circuits and optical instruments.  EU has requested consultations with India under WTO rules governing the settlement of disputes with regard to the tariff treatment that the country accords to certain goods in the ICT sector.

Consultation seeking process

Seeking consultation is the first step of dispute settlement process as per WTO rules. If consultations requested with both India and EU do not result in satisfactory solution, EU can request WTO to set up panel in the case to rule on the issue raised.