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India rejects US claim over solar power policies at WTO, says Washington didn’t follow rules

The US had last month claimed that the WTO that India had failed to abide by a ruling that it had illegally discriminated against foreign suppliers of solar cells and modules.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, Geneva [ Updated: January 09, 2018 11:14 IST ]
India rejects US claim over solar power policies at WTO
India rejects US claim over solar power policies at WTO

India on Monday turned down United States’ legal attack on its solar power policies at the World Trade Organisation, thereby exploring possible new protection of India’s own solar industry, according to Reuters.

The US had last month claimed that the WTO that India had failed to abide by a ruling that it had illegally discriminated against foreign suppliers of solar cells and modules.

According to a statement released by the WTO on Monday, India said that it had changed its rules to follow the ruling, and that a US claim for punitive trade sanctions was groundless. 

"India underscores that the United States' request is not a valid request," the Indian statement was quoted by Reuters as saying.

It further added that the US had skipped legal steps, failed to follow the correct WTO procedure, and omitted to mention any specific level of trade sanctions that it proposed to level on India, leaving India “severely prejudiced”. 

India would be vindicated if the proper process was followed, it said.

"In view of the above, India strongly objects to the US request of 19 December 2017," it said.

India has charged that the World Trade Organisation's Dispute Settlement Body cannot authorise the United States to suspend trade concessions in a dispute over India’s national solar program because India has complied with the rulings and recommendations in the case.

India launched its national solar programme in 2011, seeking to ease chronic energy shortage in Asia’s third-largest economy without creating pollution.

However, the US raised objection to the WTO in 2013, saying that its solar exports to India had fallen by 90 per cent. The WTO judges agreed that India had broken the trade rules by requiring solar power developers to use Indian-made cells and modules.

In a separate move that could protect its solar industry from global competitors, not only US rivals, India told the WTO last week that it was considering the case for imposing temporary emergency tariffs on solar cells, modules and panels, after a petition from the domestic industry. 

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