New Delhi: Holding certain programmes of the United States in the renewable energy sector as inconsistent with global norms, India is now set to file 16 cases against the US on charges that it violated World Trade Organization (WTO) treaties, the government informed Parliament today.
Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman replied in the affirmative to a question in the Rajya Sabha in this regard.
She said that India believes that certain renewable energy programmes of the US at the sub-federal level are inconsistent with WTO provisions, particularly with respect to the obligation under GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade) 1994, Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and/or TRIMS (Trade-Related Investment Measures) Agreement.
The move follows a significant ruling by the WTO panel in February this year that found the domestic content requirement imposed under India’s national solar programme inconsistent with its treaty obligations under the global trading regime.
In a separate reply, the Commerce minister said India has appealed before the WTO appellate body on the findings and recommendations of the dispute settlement panel.
To promote domestic manufacturing of solar cells and modules, which is one of the components of the National Solar Mission, India set domestic content requirement for a few of the programmes under the mission.
In a separate reply, the minister said India continues to be placed on the priority watch list under the US Special 301 on account of US assessment of Indian intellectual property rights (IPR) protection being inadequate.
"The Special 301 report issued by the US under their Trade Act of 1974 is a unilateral measure to create pressure on countries to enhance IPR protection beyond the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement," she added.
She made a point that the report which is an "extra territorial application" of the domestic law of a country is inconsistent with established norms of WTO.
Last month, releasing its annual 301 Report, the US has said it will continue to put India and China on its priority watch list for IPR.
(With PTI inputs)