Doha talks: India refuses to back US on remanufactured goods

Geneva, Jan 12 (PTI) India has refused to play ball withthe US and other developed countries on a controversialproposal for opening up developing markets to remanufacturedgoods under the Doha trade talks, apprehending this will leadto dumping of sub-standard goods.

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

"The subject of trade in remanufactured goods requiresextensive groundwork before one can look at the specificcontours of any commitments, whether it be soft or hard or ona best endeavour basis," India said in its proposal.

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

"Members must look at only a work programme withoutpre-judgement of its final outcome... Any decision can betaken only at the end of this work programme and India remainswary of any early harvest of elements of the work programme,"India maintained.

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

India is not alone in its opposition to theremanufactured goods proposal, as several other developingcountries have refused to buckle to pressure from thedeveloped world.

Besides India, Brazil, South Africa and China -- amongother countries -- have conveyed their opposition to openingup their markets to remanufactured goods to the chair of theWTO panel on industrial goods, but the US, Switzerland andJapan continue to mount pressure in the hope of achieving anunambiguous outcome.

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

During recent meetings of small groups under the Dohatalks, key industrialised countries -- especially the US andJapan -- have insisted that market access for remanufacturedgoods is as central as sectoral tariff reductions to thesuccess of the trade negotiations.

India said it held extensive consultations with domesticstakeholders, who have stated their opposition to opening upthe market to remanufactured goods. .

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