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|July 16, 1997||
US seeks WTO's help on India's quantitative restrictions
The Clinton administration has urged the World Trade Organisation to address US concerns regarding the phase out of Indian quantitative restrictions on more than 2,700 consumer and agricultural products.
''The US is committed to seeing India prosper, but this cannot be achieved if India continues to maintain a closed market,'' US trade representative Charlene Barshefsky said on Tuesday.
''We sincerely regret the inability of the Indian government to propose a resolution satisfactory to its major trading partners during the WTO-BoP (Balance of Payments) committee consultations from June 30 to July 1," she said..
The US trade representative said WTO provisions allowed countries to temporarily impose measures that would normally be forbidden (that is, import surcharges and quantitative restrictions) to respond to a legitimate balance of payments crisis.
''Over the last two years, the United States and other WTO members have sought to reach an agreement with India on the phase out of these measures within a reasonably short period, both bilaterally and at the WTO-BoP committee,'' it added.
On July 1, the BoP committee concluded that there was no consensus on an appropriate phaseout plan.
The dispute settlement consultations were aimed at reaching a mutually acceptable solution to eliminate India's import restrictions.
Under the WTO-BoP settlement rules, a minimum of 60 days consultation period is required before the request for a panel may be made.
The US hopes to use this consultation period to encourage India to put forward an acceptable phaseout plan.
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