India to impose stricter rules & tariffs on Chinese imports amid border row
The Bureau of Indian Standards is to impose tougher norms on at least 370 Chinese products, to ensure items that can be locally produced aren’t imported, sources told the Economic Times.
The products will reportedly include chemicals and pharmaceuticals, rubber and metal items, heavy and industrial machinery, paper, steel, glass, fertilizer, furniture, electronics, and plastic toys.
Local sources said discussions are also ongoing to raise import duty on furniture, as well as auto components and air-conditioner compressors. The proposal is being evaluated by India’s Finance Ministry as part of the government’s push for more local manufacturing.
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According to the same sources, the Trade Ministry is separately evaluating non-tariff measures to check Chinese imports, to avoid falling foul of World Trade Organization rules. Such measures would include more inspections, further product testing and enhanced quality-certification requirements, they said.
The need for import substitution has come to the fore in India after disruptions to raw-material supplies from China in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Calls for the process to be expedited have increased following a deadly border clash between soldiers from both countries along a disputed border in the Himalayas this month.
China is India’s biggest importer, with purchases such as electronic goods, industrial machinery and organic chemicals amounting to almost $70 billion in 2019. Beijing enjoys a trade surplus of about $50 billion with New Delhi.
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