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`US plan on industrial tariffs too ambitious'

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Nov. 29

The US proposal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on elimination of all tariffs on consumer and industrial goods by 2015 is quite "drastic and ambitious" and seeks to go "far away" from the mandate that was agreed upon in the Doha Ministerial Conference, the Commerce Secretary, Mr Dipak Chatterjee, said here.

"We will submit our proposal on modalities in non-agricultural products by December 31. It will indicate that the US proposal is not in line with the mandate of the Doha Ministerial declaration", he told newspersons here on the sidelines of a Round Table on WTO negotiations on Industrial Tariffs and Market Access, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

A Commerce Ministry official, however, said that India will not foreclose any modality but would emphasis on the matter of certain special and differential treatment to be granted to the developing countries under the Doha Declaration.

The US proposal seeks global action in two phases. In the first phase, it wants elimination of all those tariffs that are now at or below 5 per cent, while driving down other high tariffs below 8 per cent by 2010.

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