India confirms it will file 16 solar cases against US under WTO dispute

India confirms it will file 16 solar cases against US under WTO dispute

India will file 16 cases against the US for violating World Trade Organization (WTO ) treaties as certain programs of the United States in the renewable energy sector are “inconsistent” with global norms, the India’s Upper House of Parliament was informed last week by Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister.

She said that India believes that certain renewable energy programs 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.

In a separate reply, she 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 programs 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.

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