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India’s WTO representative warns about EU’s proposal for e-commerce rules, says India is not ready for binding rules in e-commerce

India’s WTO representative warns about EU’s proposal for e-commerce rules, says India is not ready for binding rules in e-commerce

European Union (EU) has proposed to formulate new e-commerce rules on Friday. The initial negotiating proposals by EU include prohibiting mandatory source code disclosure requirements, tackling barriers that prevent cross-border sales today, addressing forced data localization requirements while ensuring the protection of personal data, etc.

However, the Indian representative of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is not convinced as it could destroy both the goods and services tariff rules under the WTO, which would affect its domestic industry and job opportunities. India has expressed concerns about the EU’s new propositions.

India’s WTO ambassador, J.S. Deepak said that India, like most of the other developing countries, is not ready for binding rules in e-commerce.“We are worried that some of the e-commerce rules being proposed under the Joint Initiative on e-commerce would affect our existing trade rules, particularly the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) tariffs, which protect our industry, and General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) schedules that provide us necessary flexibilities,"explained Deepak.

Other WTO members like the U.S., Japan, China, etc. have also launched negotiations to sete-commerce rules in the future, which were proposed by them at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

Rather than imposing additional obligations, WTO must address the problems India faces in the e-commerce and trade and must bring agendas that are balanced and inclusive.

Any new rules or amendments set outside the scope of WTOis firmly opposed by India.


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