India opposes e-transmission moratorium

What is the News?

At the 12th Ministerial Conference(MC 12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), India has opposed the continuation of the moratorium on customs duties on e-commerce trade as the issue now has huge implications for the economy of developing countries.

What is the E-Transmission Moratorium?

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Why is India opposed to the extension of the E-Transmission Moratorium?

​​India is opposed to an extension on grounds that developing countries have been losing revenue. 

For instance, between 2017 and 2020, developing countries have lost potential tariff revenue of possibly upward of $50 bn only on the import of 49 digital products due to the moratorium on customs duties on e-commerce trade.

By 2025, this revenue loss is estimated to be USD 30 billion every year.

On the other hand, developed countries and Big Tech companies who largely export these goods, enjoy unfettered profits and access to developing markets.

What is the view of Big Tech Companies on this?

Firstly, not extending the moratorium could be extremely problematic as there is no way to properly assess what constitutes electronic transmission — with no clear definition available.

Secondly, lifting of the moratorium could mean countries would interpret electronic transmissions differently. This would in turn lead to a mess of understanding of who owns what intellectual property and whose rights are applicable where.

Source: The post is based on the article “India opposes e-transmission moratorium published in Livemint on 16th June 2022.

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