Piyush Goyal Defends Indian Tariffs in Dispute With EU, Says ‘They Are Not High’

He said that Indian tariffs are often “misconstrued" to be very high but in reality the duties are lower than the agreed bound rates at the WTO.

New Delhi: Commerce minister Piyush Goyal defended India’s information and communications technology (ICT) tariffs while speaking at a press conference after the first India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) meeting in Brussels, the Mint reported.

He said India’s tariffs, which are a subject of dispute with the EU, are often “misconstrued” to be very high but in reality the duties are very low. India has kept high tariffs on several products to compete with certain “non-transparent” geographies, the minister said while hinting towards China, according to the Mint

As per the commerce ministry’s official statement, Goyal said the actual applied tariff rates are lower than the agreed bound rates at the WTO, according to the Mint 

The Indian delegation at the TTC meeting included external affairs minister S. Jaishankar, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and information technology minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar. 

Goyal said that the TTC is supplementing the free trade agreement negotiations that will make India-EU relationship the defining partnership of the century, the Telegraph reported. The minister also said that India is engaging with the EU on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), a type of carbon tax, that could potentially hurt Indian exports according to an Indian Express report

“The CBAM is a mechanism that the European Union has proposed and we remain engaged with the European Union. I’m sure that the intention is not to create a barrier to trade but to find a way forward. We have a long time ahead of us within which we’ll be working together to find the right solutions to this,” Goyal said according to the Mint