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Philippines' idea to raise import duties to protect farm products to aid India's cause in WTO
Dec 07, 2017

In a move that will further India's cause to protect farm products such as apples and poultry from sudden import surges or price falls, the Philippines has proposed a tool that will allow developing countries to raise duties of certain products to deal with such volatile situations. 
 
Called special safeguard provisions, this trade remedy tool would be used to mitigate price volatility risks and balance distortions in agricultural trade. It is important for India as the capped tariffs of some agricultural products such as apples and chicken legs are not high enough to protect domestic farmers. 
 
The Philippines has made these recommendations in a series of proposals to the World Trade Organization (WTO) ahead of the crucial ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires next week. It has been leading the cause on special safeguards on behalf of the G-33 for a long time. 
 
 
While the Philippines has spearheaded this idea, it is in India's favour, said an official aware of the development. 
 
Developed countries already have a special safeguard mechanism or SSM in place. 
 
 
India and other developing countries have been fighting to secure a similar provision on a priority basis and at the previous ministerial meet in Nairobi in 2015, all members agreed to work on a SSM for developing countries. This would enable them raise import duties on agriculture items in case imports rise steeply or there is a sharp fall in domestic prices. 
 
    

The Economic Times

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