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Japan complains to WTO about India’s ‘excessive’ import duties on mobile phones and more

Japan has lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organisation about India's duties on mobile phones, base stations and routers, and their components, the WTO revealed in a filing on Tuesday. Japan’s complaint to the trade body accuses India of imposing duties - to foster domestic production - that are “clearly in excess of bound rates” and which “nullify or impair the benefits accruing to it directly or indirectly”. It says that India’s policies and tariff increases though the Customs Act are inconsistent with its Schedule of Concessions and Commitments annexed to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). GATT is a legal agreement between many countries, whose purpose is to promote international trade by reducing or removing trade barriers such as tariffs. “Especially since announcement of the ‘Make in India’ campaign in September 2014,” the complaint reads, “India has continuously and systematically raised import duties on a wide range of products in various sectors, such as electronics systems, mining, automobiles, renewable energy, defense manufacturing, food, processing, automobile components, and textiles and garments.” What Japan is taking issue with Here are the list of specific products that Japan, in its complaint, accuses India of taxing unfairly: 1. Cell phones: India applies a 20% duty to telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks under the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (“First Schedule”), which clearly exceeds the applicable bound rate of 0% set forth in India’s Schedule of Concessions and Commitments under GATT (“India’s Schedule”). 2.…

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