ICT import duty case: Japan urges India to rescind decision of appeal in WTO’s appellate body

ICT import duty case: Japan urges India to rescind decision of appeal in WTO’s appellate body

30 May    Economy, Finance News, Japan

Japan on Tuesday expressed disappointment over India’s decision to appeal against a ruling of the WTO trade dispute settlement panel on import duties on certain information and technology products, and has urged to withdraw it, a Geneva-based official said.On May 25, India appealed against a ruling of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) trade dispute settlement panel which stated that the country’s import duties on certain information and technology products are inconsistent with the global trade norms.

The ruling followed a dispute filed by the European Union, Japan and Taiwan against these duties in WTO.Japan flagged its concerns during the meeting of the dispute settlement body in Geneva.”Japan has urged India to rescind its decision (concerning appeal)” the official said.The dispute panel of WTO on April 17 said in its report that import duties imposed by India on certain information and technology products violate global trading norms.The appeal was filed by India in the WTO’s appellate body, which is the final authority on such trade disputes.The EU on April 2, 2019, challenged the introduction of import duties by India on a wide range of ICT products, for instance, mobile phones and components, base stations, integrated circuits and optical instruments.

The EU had claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with certain provisions of WTO. Later, Chinese Taipei and Japan also joined the dispute.According to WTO rules, a WTO member or members can file a case in the Geneva-based multilateral body if they feel that a particular trade measure is against the norms of WTO.The panel’s ruling or report can be challenged before the WTO’s appellate body. Interestingly, the appellate body is not functioning because of differences among member countries to appoint its members.

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Several disputes are already pending with this body. The US has been blocking the appointment of the members.Even if the body, which is the final arbiter on such trade disputes, starts working from now, it would take over a year to take up India’s appeal.Further, the official said that the dispute settlement body (DSB) has agreed to the request from Chinese Taipei and India for additional time for the DSB to consider adoption of the panel ruling in Chinese Taipei’s challenge to India’s tariffs on certain high-tech products.The two sides said that the additional time would facilitate the resolution of the dispute. 

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