WTO to focus on trade hurdles pushed by India

WTO to focus on trade hurdles pushed by India

The WTO will focus this year on non-tariff measures (NTMs) which are used by several countries to protect domestic producers, an issue consistently being raised by India in the multi-lateral trade meetings.

“Non-tariff measures (i.e. policy measures, other than tariffs, that can potentially affect trade in goods) and services regulations are less transparent than tariffs. Some of them are in place for legitimate reasons....Others are mainly used to protect domestic producers,” the World Trade Organisation said. The WTO said it has initiated a debate: ‘Looking beyond international cooperation on tariffs’ in the run-up to finalisation of trade report 2012.

“...NTMs and services regulations raise particular challenges for international cooperation on trade,” it said adding the topic has earned importance because it has variable effects on trade.

It said some of the countries follow NTMs and services regulations which tend to be “rather opaque and documenting their evolution is difficult”.

As the Indian industry, particularly in the services sector, has been facing these non-transparent NTMs which masquerade as the legitimate policy concerns, the issue is of interest to India.

According to the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s services exports grew by two per cent year-on-year and aggregated to US$11.46 billion in October.