US asks India to remove customs duties on ICT items
The Dollar Business Bureau
Ahead of the scheduled bilateral Strategic and Commercial Dialogue next month, US asked India to remove customs duties on the products of information and communications technology (ICT).
“We are also asking India to eliminate customs duties on ICT products. This will help introduction of these products into the supply chain operations,” said Robert Holleyman, Deputy US Trade Representative (USTR) on Monday, at an event organised by the think tank, Observer Research Foundation.
In order to ensure free trade of ICT products, Holleyman said that the US is also in discussion with India for implementing trade facilitation agreement (TFA) of WTO. He stated that India should make the most of the export-led growth approach as it would enhance its potential in the field of ICT. The local content need in India can also act as a barrier in trade.
Holleyman said that with digital economy growing globally, the barriers for growth are also growing in several countries. “These barriers may be in the form of localisation needs, etc,” he added. And for the US to work collectively with India,policies of localisation need to be removed as several major IT companies have set up R&D (Research & Development) centres in India and those firms want to have free trade of data across countries. The domestic market in India for ICT items is around $65 billion while the world’s ICT market stood at $2 trillion, he added.
Holleyman appreciated the Indian government's initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India. Bringing the issue of mandatory registration order in India, he said that the US is also working with India to create stronger copyrights and trade secrets regimes and is motivated by India’s focus on developing a robust regime for intellectual property rights (IPRs), which is a crucial element of an innovation-based economy.