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India's Strategy to Tackle Non, Tariff Barriers in Global



  Oct 07, 2023

Non-Tariff Barriers at WTO


India is gearing up to address the issue of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) that its industries face in global markets. The country plans to bring this up at the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) committee meeting. The Commerce Department is collecting data from various industry bodies to prepare a comprehensive list of items that face such barriers.

Key Points:

Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs): These are trade barriers that restrict imports but are not in the usual form of a tariff. They include standards, licenses, and quotas.
 
NTBs can significantly impede exports even when import tariffs are low.
 
Specific Trade Concerns (STCs): Industry bodies are identifying issues that can be raised as STCs at the meeting.
 
STCs are specific issues that a country or group of countries believe are affecting trade and need to be addressed.
 
Global Context: Developed nations have been known to employ NTBs, affecting exports from countries like India.
 
This is despite the WTO's TBT Agreement, which aims to ensure that such barriers are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.
 
Past Concerns: Both the U.S. and the EU have previously raised TBT concerns related to India in areas like toys, electronics, and alcoholic beverages.
 
India has also raised concerns but believes more issues can be sorted out.
 

Remedial Response:

Data Collection: Gathering comprehensive data on the types of NTBs faced will strengthen India's case at the WTO.
 
A well-documented list can push trading partners to address these issues.
 
Diplomacy: Engaging in diplomatic talks with countries that have significant NTBs can help in mutual understanding and possible relaxation of such barriers.
 
Diplomacy can often resolve issues that formal complaints cannot.
 
Policy Review: A review of domestic policies can also help in understanding if any of India's own practices are contributing to the rise of NTBs.
 
Self-assessment can help in negotiating from a position of strength.
 
By taking a multi-pronged approach, India aims to effectively address the issue of non-tariff barriers and facilitate smoother trade relations.


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