labels: world trade organisation, trade
US, EU want India to make concessions on manufacturing tariffs news
22 September 2007

Mumbai: US and European trade officials are hoping to persuade major developing countries such as India and Brazil to open up their markets for manufacturing goods against some progress they claim in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks to reduce US farm tariffs and subsidies.

Indian representative Ujal Singh Bhatia and Brazilian negotiator Clodoaldo Hugueney refused to say if their countries would be willing to accept a proposal by the WTO''s lead industrial trade negotiator to cut tariffs on their most protected manufactured products to a level between 19 and 23 per cent.

Commerce minister Kamal Nath, meanwhile, said in New Delhi that India would not adopt a difficult stand at the WTO negotiations. He said India only wants a multilateral trading system that corrects the existing structural flaws in the global trade rather than perpetuates them. The rules of the game are very important for India as it engages in the global trading system more and more.

These subsidies and non-tariff barriers greatly distort the system and are not justified, he told the India-America Chamber of Commerce. Nath, however, defended the protection of intellectual property rights, saying it is important that India graduates from user to producer of intellectual property.

US negotiator Peter Allgeier said Washington is committed to negotiate within the ranges of a draft WTO agriculture agreement and would prompt Argentina, Brazil, India and others to make a similar commitment on a parallel WTO proposal for cutting industrial tariffs.

US president George W Bush is likely to meet Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in New York next.

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US, EU want India to make concessions on manufacturing tariffs