US asks India to eliminate customs duties on information and communications technology products

By: | Published: July 25, 2016 7:39 PM

The US today asked India to eliminate customs duties on information and communications technology (ICT) products to increase trade of these items in the global markets including America.

Deputy US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Holleyman also said that next month top officials of both the countries will hold the strategic and commercial dialogue here (Reuters)Deputy US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Holleyman also said that next month top officials of both the countries will hold the strategic and commercial dialogue here (Reuters)

The US today asked India to eliminate customs duties on information and communications technology (ICT) products to increase trade of these items in the global markets including America.

Deputy US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Holleyman also said that next month top officials of both the countries will hold the strategic and commercial dialogue here.

Talking about growing opportunities in the ICT sector, he said India should capitalise on export led growth strategy as it would improve its potential in the ICT area.

India’s domestic market for ICT products are worth about USD 65 billion but the global ICT market is USD 2 trillion, he said here at a function organised by ORF.

“We are also asking India to eliminate customs duties on ICT products. This will help introduction of these products into the supply chain operations,” he said, adding “we are also working with India on the implementation of WTO’s trade facilitation agreement (TFA) to ensure free flow of ICT products”.

Holleyman said that local content requirement in India also acts as trade barriers.

Appreciating government’s programme like Make in India, Digital India, he said the US is encouraged by the focus that India is giving to develop a stronger intellectual property rights (IPRs) regime as it is a critical component of innovation based economy.

“We are also working with India to establish stronger regime in copyrights and trade secrets regime,” he said raising issues of India’s compulsory registration order.

This makes ICT products to be retested in Indian labs although these products conforms to all the international norms, he said, adding, “we are encouraging India to eliminate these (retesting) requirements as it looks to streamlines its laws to international norms”.

Holleyman said the US wants to work together with India to eliminate localisation policies because many of the major IT industry firms have established R&D initiatives in India and those would like to have free flow of data across borders.

With growing digital economy in the world, barriers are also increasing in various countries, he said, adding that they may exist in the form of localisation requirements among others.

Further, he said that trade and other mutual issues would be discussed during the strategic and commercial dialogue.

The first such dialogue happened in the US with an aim to ramp up economic exchange to USD 500 billion and enhance regional security. Trade between India and the US stood at USD 62 billion in 2015-16.

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