The large volume of imports for B-band cellular telephony are expected to contribute to a trade deficit in Brazil’s telecoms sector of around US$2bn this year, according to the country’s electro-electronic industry association, Abinee. While the cellular equipment imports are unavoidable, the president of Abinee, Nelson Freire, who also sits on the newly-formed federal regulatory body Anatel, said the government is mulling the imposition of restrictions in other areas, given the fact that Brazil’s overall trade deficit ran to US$8.5bn in 1997. Under consideration is the return of a 14% tax on imports of radio base stations, for which locally-made alternatives exist.
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