US Trade Representative says G-20 nations India took protectionist route

March 3rd, 2009 - 7:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar. 3 (ANI): The US Trade Representative has claimed that a number of G-20 countries including India have adopted protectionist measures despite having committed to not raising trade barriers especially during the economic downturn.
At the Financial Markets and the World Economy Summit in Washington, the G-20 leaders including India had committed themselves not to raise trade barriers for a 12-month period and to strive to reach in the times of financial uncertainty, USTR’’s annual report said.
However, in the days and weeks following the G-20 summit, a number of countries faltered in their commitments, the USTR report said.
The report said that India, on November 18, had increased the duty on crude soybean oil by twenty percent and the tariff on a range of iron and steel products by five per cent, while Indonesia placed new licensing restrictions on at least 500 products.
Furthermore, Russia increased taxes on certain imported foreign cars to a minimum of 35 percent, and France outlined plans to launch a state fund to protect French companies from foreign takeovers, the report said.
Argentina and Brazil were also labeled for practicing protectionism in the report. At November 15 summit, all the G 20 countries had expressed their commitment to not turn inwards in tough financial times.
We underscore the critical importance of rejecting protectionism and not turning inward in times of financial uncertainty. In this regard, within the next 12 months, we will refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing World Trade Organization (WTO) inconsistent measures to stimulate exports, the joint statement issued by G-20 leaders had then said.
As the Doha Round is expected to resume, the USTR said there will be a more robust public monitoring by the WTO to support the G-20 Leaders” commitments to resist protectionist measures. (ANI)

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