This refers to your editorial “Protectionism does not pay; raising import tariffs to hurt Indian consumers” (March 13). The editorial states India should use this opportunity to boost its own productivity by improving infrastructure at a low cost and should not raise import tariffs. While last week's imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium by the US although would not have a huge impact on India, the country’s stand to take it up with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is one sided. There is another way that trade representatives of both the countries can sit and deliberate the advantages and disadvantages of reciprocal tax. The Ministry of Commerce studying the implications of recent import duty move by the US may not help much. This is because exports of steel and aluminium products from India to the US is very minimal. What is required to be studied is Donald Trump's idea of reciprocal tax, which is a new concept in global trade, by all the stakeholders.
The WTO has an objective to reduce the disparities in tariff structure amongst its member countries, but till today, it hasn’t made much headway. The new concept of reciprocal tax can reduce the imbalance in trade in the long run. Reciprocal tax can shift the focus to bridging the trade gap between countries. The WTO must, without any bias towards the US, examine this idea.
, New Delhi
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