‘India will create a level playing field if EU, USA impose carbon tariff’

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on February 28, 2021

Anup Wadhawan, Commerce Secretary K_V_SRINIVASAN

India will take steps to become competitive and create a level playing field for Indian manufacturers and exporters if the EU and the US impose carbon-based tariff on imports, said India‘s Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan.

“ If something evolves in a certain way we will do whatever is necessary to maintain our competitiveness and to create a level playing field. The game can be played both ways. We will do what it takes to be competitive and create a level playing field for our manufacturers and exporters,” he said when asked about EU and the US planning a carbon-based tariff starting this year.

Wadhawan was speaking on the third day of 5th edition of Asia Economic Dialogue (AED) 2021 jointly organised by Pune International Centre (PIC) and the Government of India’ Ministry of External Affairs along with HV Shringla, India’ Foreign Secretary in a session titled ‘ India as a Global Partner’.

“ These are typically non-trade issues which are coming into the trade domain. We always opposed trade issues getting mixed up with non-trade issues and especially non-trade issues becoming a lever for achieving trade interest,” said Wadhawan.

Non-trade issues

He added that India was equally concerned with the environment, climate change issues but these issues must be discussed on other platforms and not mixed with trade.

“ West has evolved to labour standards and environment protection. We are at different evolutionary stage. The micro-economy will support lower wages that are suitable in our economy. Now to say that we must pay our workers the same wage as the US does, that is undoing comparative advantage,” said Wadhawan. He added that data flow is a must for business and trade but there should be a clear understanding of who owns the data.

HV Shringla said that people across the world want the Indian vaccine for Covid-19. He said that the government’s priority was domestic requirements.

“ Enough quantity is available in the country. Domestic capacity is also increasing. Both Serum and Bharat Biotech have ramped up their production. By April, we expect the number of other vaccine candidates to get their emergency use authorisation from regulators. Once they come into the market, we will have larger quantities,” he said.

Published on February 28, 2021

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