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ELP Trade Newsletter – Early 2018

Mar2018

International Trade & Customs Practice

ELP Trade Newsletter - Early 2018

The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) concluded on December 13, 2017 without achieving any substantive results. Given the political climate and events preceding the Buenos Aires Conference, it was widely predicted by academicians and practitioners that the 11th Ministerial Conference might not yield much. With multilateralism taking a back seat, it is obvious that global trading regime would see a proliferation of protectionism and bilateral and plurilateral concessions. Some of these issues including plans to revive negotiations at the WTO would be discussed among the key Member States during the Mini-Ministerial meet scheduled to be held later this month in New Delhi.

Indeed, in line with President Donald J. Trump’s policies, United States imposed safeguard duties on solar cells and modules as well as washing machines which some critics believe to be yet another step to appease the domestic constituency in the United States. India’s Directorate General of Safeguards, too, has recommended imposition of provisional safeguard duties of 70% on solar cells but the operation of these duties have been temporarily stayed by the Hon’ble High Court of Madras. Further, India has also hiked custom duties on imported mobile phones and certain accessories purportedly for accelerating its ‘Make in India’ campaign. Critics believe that the latest move is likely to raise eyebrows in Geneva given India’s commitments under the WTO Information Technology Agreement. On the other hand, the negotiations among the parties to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been successfully concluded.

This Newsletter captures some of the key developments on global trade issues. We trust you will find this an interesting read. For any queries or comments on this update, please feel free to contact us at addresses mentioned in the Newsletter.

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