US urges WTO to enforce report on India’s ‘discriminatory’ solar product policy

The US Trade Representative also called for a special WTO meeting to adopt a compliance panel report that found the European Union guilty of maintaining illegal subsidies to Airbus.

By: PTI | Washington | Published:October 4, 2016 7:15 am
WTO, US, India, solar products, American solar products, discrimination against American solar products, WTO appellate body, US Trade Representative, business news, latest news, Indian express World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The US has said it will urge the World Trade Organisation to enforce the panel and appellate reports that found India’s policies “discriminatory” against American solar products. The US Trade Representative Monday also called for a special WTO meeting to adopt a compliance panel report that found the European Union guilty of maintaining illegal subsidies to Airbus.

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“USTR has also requested that the WTO adopt the panel and appellate reports in the successful US challenge against Indian local content requirements that discriminate against US solar cells and modules,” the US Trade Representative’s office said in a statement.

“We will not tolerate our trading partners ignoring the rules at the expense of American workers and their families,” said US Trade Representative Mike Froman.

“We need to resolve these disputes once and for all. The Obama Administration is strongly committed to enforcing the rights of the United States under our trade agreements and we will use every tool at our disposal to expedite these cases for the benefit of American businesses and workers,” Froman said.

On September 16, the WTO Appellate Body found in favour of the United States in a dispute challenging India’s domestic content requirements for solar cells and modules under India’s National Solar Mission.

The appellate report affirmed a February 2016 WTO panel report finding that India’s domestic content requirements breach international trade rules because they prohibit Indian solar power developers from using solar cells and modules made in the United States in certain projects, the statement said.

“Since India enacted these requirements in 2011, American solar exports to India have fallen by more than 90 percent. By requesting the WTO to adopt the reports, the United States is pushing to stop India’s discrimination against US solar exports sooner rather than later,” USTR said.

On September 22 this year, a WTO compliance panel found that the European Union (EU) breached WTO rules by giving Airbus billions of dollars in additional subsidies “that cause tens of billions of dollars in harm” to US exporters.

“Today, the Obama Administration requested a special meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body to ensure that this report takes effect as soon as possible,” the USTR said.

The EU could seek to appeal the compliance panel’s findings, but the United States has urged them instead to accept the panel’s findings and negotiate a settlement to remove all of the WTO-inconsistent subsidies so that American exporters can compete on a level playing field, the statement added.

Under WTO rules, because the United States has requested adoption of the panel and appellate reports within 30 days of circulation of the Appellate Body report, they will be adopted automatically by the organisation.