Japan, China raise question over India’s laptop import monitoring system at WTO

Japan, China raise question over India’s laptop import monitoring system at WTO
Japan, China raise question over India’s laptop import monitoring system at WTO
The measure, which India introduced to better regulate and protect its domestic electronics industry, has led to significant international discourse.

At a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting, Japan and China voiced their apprehensions over India’s newly implemented laptop import monitoring system. The measure, which India introduced to better regulate and protect its domestic electronics industry, has led to significant international discourse.

India’s initiative, rolled out in mid-2023, mandates importers to obtain licenses for a range of electronic products, including laptops, tablets, and servers. The system aims to curb the influx of cheap electronic goods and support local manufacturers. However, trading partners argue that the measure could disrupt global supply chains and contravene WTO regulations.

Japan and China, two of India’s major trading partners, articulated their concerns during the WTO’s Committee on Import Licensing meeting. They questioned the transparency and fairness of the licensing process. Indicating that it could potentially lead to trade barriers and discrimination against foreign products. Both nations urged India to ensure that the new system aligns with WTO rules, emphasizing the importance of predictable and non-discriminatory trade practices.

Japan’s representative noted the potential for significant delays. And added costs for businesses, while China’s delegate warned that the policy might set a precedent for other countries to adopt similar restrictive measures. They called for India to reconsider or at least modify the system to minimize disruptions.

In response, India’s representatives defended the monitoring system, citing national security and economic self-reliance as primary motivations. They reassured the WTO members that the measures are temporary and essential for safeguarding the country’s burgeoning electronics industry.

This debate underscores the ongoing global tension over trade policies and the balance between national interests and international trade fairness. As the discussion continues, it remains to be seen how India will navigate the concerns raised by its trading partners within the framework of the WTO.

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