U.S., Korea raise concerns on India's decision to impose import restrictions on laptops, computers

Korea stressed that the proposed measures by India seem inconsistent with WTO rules and could create unnecessary trade barriers

October 17, 2023 07:27 pm | Updated 07:27 pm IST - New Delhi

On August 3, India imposed import restrictions on a host of IT hardware products such as laptops, personal computers (including tablet computers), micro computers, large or mainframe computers, and certain data processing machines with a view to boost domestic manufacturing and cut imports from countries like China.

On August 3, India imposed import restrictions on a host of IT hardware products such as laptops, personal computers (including tablet computers), micro computers, large or mainframe computers, and certain data processing machines with a view to boost domestic manufacturing and cut imports from countries like China. | Photo Credit: Elise Amendola

The U.S., China, Korea and Chinese Taipei have raised concerns on India's decision to impose import restrictions on laptops, and computers, in a meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), an official said.

The concern was flagged in the meeting of WTO's Committee on Market Access. It was chaired by Renata Crisaldo of Paraguay on Monday, in Geneva.

The U.S. said that the decision will have an impact on trade of these products, including U.S. exports to India, once they are implemented, the Geneva-based official said.

The U.S. also said the decision was creating uncertainty for exporters and downstream users.

On August 3, India imposed import restrictions on a host of IT hardware products such as laptops, personal computers (including tablet computers), micro computers, large or mainframe computers, and certain data processing machines with a view to boost domestic manufacturing and cut imports from countries like China.

The regime would take effect November 1.

However, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal last week said India would not impose licensing requirement on imports but will only monitor their inbound shipments.

The official said that Korea stressed that the proposed measures by India seem inconsistent with WTO rules and could consequently create unnecessary trade barriers.

Seoul requested India to reconsider the implementation of these measures and provide detailed clarifications and information on this issue, including the timeline of its implementation.

The country has imported personal computers, including laptops, worth $5.33 billion in 2022-23, as against $7.37 billion in 2021-22.

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