Taiwan resorts to WTO over Indian tariffs on tech goods

Brussels- Taiwan has initiated a dispute complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over tariffs imposed by India on certain information and communications technology (ICT) products, the WTO said Monday.

In a statement, the WTO said Taiwan has requested dispute consultations with India regarding duties imposed on imports of various tech merchandise, adding that the request was circulated to WTO members Sept. 9.

According to the WTO, Taiwan has claimed that India has slapped tariffs on eleven categories of ICT products, going beyond the South Asian country's bound duty rates for these goods.

Commenting on the request to the global trade body, the Permanent Mission of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu to the WTO said the mission filed the request with the WTO Sept. 2 for consultations with India.

Taiwan became the 144th member of the WTO under the name of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Jan. 1, 2002.

Under WTO rules, India must respond to Taiwan's request within 10 days, the mission said, which means that by Sept. 12, Taiwan will be aware as to whether India is willing to hold consultations to resolve the tariff dispute.

According to the mission, India started in 2014 to raise tariffs on certain ICT goods, including smartphones and smartphone components, cellphone base stations, integrated circuit items and optoelectronic products.

The mission said that many countries, including Taiwan, have raised concerns over India's tariff hikes against these ICT products since 2016.

In April, the European Union challenged similar measures by initiating WTO dispute proceedings against India. That dispute is still in the consultation stage, the global trade body said.

According to the WTO, the request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the trade body and consultations give the parties a chance to discuss their disputes, which can hopefully result in a satisfactory solution without the need to proceed further with litigation.

After 60 days, the WTO said, if the consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant can request adjudication by a panel under the trade body.

Since Taiwan became a WTO member, it has made seven such requests for consultations. In the previous six, three disputes were resolved through consultations and the three others were resolved through panel adjudications.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel