Now it's Japan’s turn to take India to the WTO -- this time over phone import duties


  • Japan has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against India’s duties on mobile phones and mobile equipment like base stations, circuit boards and routers.
  • Japan’s major point of contention is that the duties charged by India are well in excess of the rates allowed by WTO and followed by other WTO signatories.
  • In February 2019, Australia and Brazil filed a complaint against India over the latter’s sugar subsidies while the US issued a counter-notification to India in May last year - also over the subject of farmer subsidies.
Japan has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against India’s duties on mobile phones and mobile equipment like base stations, circuit boards and routers.

A complaint precedes a full-fledged legal dispute at the trade body.

Japan said that India tried to boost its own domestic mobile phone and mobile equipment production via Make in India by levying duties and customs charges on said Japanese imports.

However, Japan’s major point of contention is that the duties charged by India are well in excess of the rates allowed by WTO and followed by other WTO signatories.

India’s import duties on the said products are said to be around 20% for mobile phones and base stations and between 10% to 20% on other components.

India’s mobile phone and equipment imports are dominated by China and Vietnam, with Japan only accounting for a small portion.

In fact, according to the International Trade Centre, a partnership between the UN and WTO, India imported $5.7 billion worth of switchers and routers last year - less than 1% of which came from Japan.

India has 60 days to settle the complaint with Japan. It has a host of other disputes at the WTO as well.

In February 2019, Australia and Brazil filed a complaint against India over the latter’s sugar subsidies. Australia’s trade minister Simon Birmingham explained that the level of subsidies paid to Indian sugar farmers was driving a global supply glut of sugar and dragging down prices.

In May last year, the US also issued a counter-notification against India at the WTO over the subject of farmer subsidies. The US government alleged that India underreported its subsidies and that its scheme of minimum price support (MSP) for wheat and rice was against the rules of the agreement.


SEE ALSO:

America doesn’t like India’s farmer subsidies and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon

Australia and Brazil drag India to WTO over sugar subsidies
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