Doha talks: India refuses to back US on remanufactured goods

Doha talks: India refuses to back US on remanufactured goods

In a proposal issued to World Trade Organisation members on Tuesday, India maintained that it is "gravely concerned on various aspects of the revised text..."

"The subject of trade in remanufactured goods requires extensive groundwork before one can look at the specific contours of any commitments, whether it be soft or hard or on a best endeavour basis," India said in its proposal.

"Without this understanding," said India, "there is a fear specifically among many developing members that the current text of the proponents could be used as a conduit for dumping of sub-standard products into their markets."

"Members must look at only a work programme without pre-judgement of its final outcome... Any decision can be taken only at the end of this work programme and India remains wary of any early harvest of elements of the work programme," India maintained.

Among other things, the proposal put forward by developed countries like the US, Japan and Switzerland calls for "creation of an upfront definition, onerous commitments on market access and reviews of NTBs (non-tariff barriers) and the creating of a Working Group on Trade in Remanufactured Goods with a view to raise and discuss specific trade concerns on remanufactured goods..."

India is not alone in its opposition to the remanufactured goods proposal, as several other developing countries have refused to buckle to pressure from the developed world.
Besides India, Brazil, South Africa and China -- among other countries -- have conveyed their opposition to opening up their markets to remanufactured goods to the chair of the WTO panel on industrial goods, but the US, Switzerland and Japan continue to mount pressure in the hope of achieving an unambiguous outcome.

The chairman of the Doha industrial goods panel, Ambassador Luzuis Wasescha, convened a meeting on Friday with select members of the international community to prepare a draft text on remanufactured goods.

During recent meetings of small groups under the Doha talks, key industrialised countries -- especially the US and Japan -- have insisted that market access for remanufactured goods is as central as sectoral tariff reductions to the success of the trade negotiations.
India said it held extensive consultations with domestic stakeholders, who have stated their opposition to opening up the market to remanufactured goods. In this regard, the work programme proposed by India includes a series of workshops on both general and thematic issues.

WTO members began intensive negotiations on Monday to accelerate the stalled Doha trade talks, which they hope to conclude in 2011.

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