Carbon-based tariffs non-trade issues: Comm Secy

Carbon-based tariffs typically non-trade issues; should not be mixed with trade matters: Commerce Secy

Wadhawan said India is at the forefront on issues like climate change

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

India on Sunday said the proposed carbon-based tariffs on goods is a non-trade issue and it should not be mixed with trade-related matters.

Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said non-trade issues like sustainability, environment and labour have to be discussed on the right platform and in the right channels.

"Those (carbon-based tariffs) are typically non-trade issues which are coming into the trade domain.

"So, we always opposed trade issues getting mixed up with non-trade issues and especially non-trade issues becoming a lever for achieving your trade interest," he said at the Asia Economic Dialogue 2021.

The secretary was replying to a question about India's position on carbon-based tariffs as regions with European Union are planning to introduce that.

Wadhawan said India is at the forefront on issues like climate change, but one has to engage on those issues on the right platform.

"You cannot mix them with trade issues," he said adding that the western countries have evolved to their present levels over the time and one should not expect that developing world to evolve instantly.

Talking about free-trade agreements (FTAs), he said these pacts put competitive pressure on industry and "I cannot underrate" the importance of FTAs for creating competitive pressure for access to global markets.

India has inked 10 FTAs and six preferential trade agreements.

On the movement of professionals under trade in services aspect, he said India seeks minimal commitment from its trading partners that they would not put any restriction on such temporary movement of skilled manpower.

"Any economic relationship requires professionals to be able to move," he added.

When asked about data related matters, the secretary said whoever becomes the recipient of data, he/she should honour ownership and privacy.

The company which acquires data should not benefit from it economically or otherwise without "your" permission, he added.

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