India on Friday took a dig at developed countries for “wriggling out of past commitments” by demanding additional information and obligations from all countries. At a meeting of heads of delegation, New Delhi said the World Trade Organization (WTO) is being burdened with “endless debates” which is “a recipe for failure.”
It also said it is keen to assess the extent of sacrifice of revenue involved in electronic transmissions, and the distribution of this loss among countries, due to new technologies. Technologies such as “additive manufacturing will result in electronic transmissions cascading and many dutiable goods being manufactured by digital printing”, it said.
India and South Africa have questioned the extant multilateral work programme on e-commerce that prohibits countries from imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions, citing revenue loss to developing countries.
“Further, we fear the impact of some of the e-commerce rules being proposed under the joint Initiative on e-commerce, on existing trade rules… which protect our industry, and provide us useful flexibilities,” India said.
It added that the ‘high standard’ e-commerce elements could lead to a weakening of the existing agreements on goods and services.
India’s statement comes ahead of a mini-ministerial meeting of twenty developing countries and least developed countries which it is hosting on May 13-14. The two day talks are expected to culminate into a Delhi Declaration after intense discussions on reforms, e-commerce, agriculture and special and differential treatment (S&DT).
“We are disappointed at the absence of active engagement of the member holding appointments to the Appellate Body hostage on proposals for resolving the Appellate Body impasse,” India told the global multilateral trade body.
Source : Financial Express