US-based tech group urges Trump to overcome digital trade barriers

US-based tech group urges Trump to overcome digital trade barriers

For India, it alleged that tariffs on technology products are inconsistent with the country’s WTO commitments.

The Dollar Business Bureau

A US-based technology group Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) has prodded the Trump government to take steps in overcoming barriers in digital trade and alleged that various countries including China and India are biased in their policies which unfairly disadvantage US companies. 

In addition, the technology group named countries like Canada, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, Mexico and Vietnam, which have followed discriminatory policies against American companies. 

“Multiple foreign governments have turned to discriminatory or otherwise harmful policies that unfairly disadvantage American companies and impede the ability of technology products and services to drive growth,” ITI said in a report to the President. 

The countries in which rules that treat foreign and domestic companies differently are Colombia, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam, it said. 

For India, the report alleged that tariffs put on technology products are inconsistent with the country’s commitments with WTO (World Trade Organisation). 

“India continues to raise tariffs on an increasingly wide range of technology products, including products where it is bound under the WTO rules to apply zero tariffs, such as mobile phones, base stations, routers, and ink cartridges,” the report said. 

Objecting to the Indian government’s Make in India initiative, ITI said in the report that the order issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) this year obliges the government organisations to give preference to domestically manufactured products for public procurement purposes, varying by price thresholds. 

Governments all over the world are preventing technology companies of US from trading their products and services overseas; requiring the data ‘localisation’; imposing technology transfer; hardware and software services within their borders and using regulatory barriers, etc, to put a restriction on the scale to favour their own companies, the report said. 

“These restrictions are harming the American firms in all areas, preventing manufacturers, small businesses and service providers from entering international markets and using digital products and services for supporting exports and businesses in US,” it said. 

Josh Kallmer, Senior Vice President for Global Policy at ITI, said “The US can be offered the greatest potential to use trade to enhance innovation, job creation and economic growth by removing the barriers and enabling digital information to move rapidly and freely, including across the borders.”

The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 02, 2017 12:00 IST