Wednesday, October 28, 2009


'Technical Barriers to Trade' are not supposed to be practiced under the WTO regime which is based on equal opportunity for trade to all the countries. The 'high and mighty' countries were ruling the roost before the advent of WTO finding one excuse or the other to bar imports, especially valued added products, from third world countries to protect and shelter their domestic industry. Rejection of imports on flimsy basis was order of the day causing huge losses to exporters from developing countries. With the technology gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' narrowing down considerably, products from developing countries are to day competing successfully in the global market place.

The US, once considered as the most powerful nation on earth has found out how other countries can also play the quality and safety 'card' and reject their consignments when they arrive at the ports of destination. "Global drinks giant PepsiCo is one of a number of western companies whose imported food and beverage products have failed Chinese quality inspection tests, reports Shanghai Daily, one of the country's two leading English language newspapers. More than 150 imported food and cosmetics items failed quality tests including PepsiCo's orange concentrates and Mead Johnson's milk powder for babies".

If European and American sellers of processed goods want to avoid rejections, a time may come when buyers from countries like Asia or Africa could insist on their experts, certifying the quality before shipment. At present buyers from rich nations often insist on intrusive inspection of the manufacturing facilities in the countries from where imports are made under the guise of quality confirmation. USFDA, even had the cheek to open their offices in countries like China and India to prevent shipment of sub-standard products to the US. In a meek country like India any thing and every thing can be imported with practically no control over their quality. Probably China can teach a lesson or two as to how self esteem is asserted even against Goliaths like the US without fear or favor.


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