It suggested the government to be extremely cautious with regard to negotiations on non-tariff measures (NTMs) in the current round of market access negotiations for industrial goods at WTO.
Ficci fears that NTMs affecting developing countries exports in developed countries may get excluded from the purview of these negotiations. We need to ensure that developed countries NTMs are listed in the inventory of NTMs which would be subject to negotiations in the WTO, it said in a statement.
Another issue revised by the chamber is the government procurement. Including this as an NTM would imply restricting the scope for countries to give preferences to domestic suppliers, it said. Doha Ministerial Declaration mandates negotiations in government procurement but it is only with regard to transparency in government procurement.
We have to ensure in these negotiations that certain legitimate measures which are required by developing countries to develop their industries should be kept out of the purview of these negotiations, it said.
Apart from NTMs, some of the features of tariff structure like bound duties and tariff peaks should also be included in negotiations. As per the WTO data, out of 128 members only 52 members have bound 100 per cent of their industrial tariff lines, 32 members have bound between 90-100 per cent of their tariff lines. Which implies that as many as 40 members have a number of their industrial tariff lines unbound. Binding of these unbound tariff lines would be one area which would be a subject of intense negotiations. And here, mostly the developing countries have their tariff lines unbound except some developed countries like Israel, it said.