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Statement by India at WTO on export restrications by the United States

January 7, 1999

Following is the Statement made by India in the meeting of the
General Council, WTO on December 11, 1998 under "Other Business"
on the subject of Export Restrictions by the United States vis-à-vis India

Geneva

The Bureau of Export Administration of the US Department of Commerce had notified, on 19.11.1998, forty Indian entities and two hundred subordinate entities which will be covered by export sanctions. These entities are not eligible to receive exports or re-exports of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations, without a licence.

It is India's view that the restrictions imposed by the United States are without justification. It represents an attempt to deny technology and products to Indian companies and educational and research institutions. The entities targeted 'include such institutions as the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, Indian Institutes of Technology, and a range of public sector and private sector companies, including Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, which is primarily concerned with fertilizer production. The imposition of export restrictions is not only unjustified, it is also, in our view, violative of US obligations under WTO, particularly Articles I, XI and XIII of GATT 1994. India expresses its deep concern at this development.

Unilateral action by Members cuts at the very root of the multilateral trading system. India notes with regret the fact that some developed countries have been taking recourse to unilateral action in various situations thus making multilateral trade disciplines and rules increasingly irrelevant. It is important that the entire membership of the WTO takes cognisance of this unfortunate trend and devises measures to combat it before the organisation itself is threatened. We would also urge all Members to restrain themselves from taking such unilateral actions in the interests of disciplined and orderly global trade. The time has now come for the General Council and the Ministerial Conference to act with determination against all unilateral actions.