US challenges India's solar export restrictions

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2014 12:52 IST

The US on Monday announced it was going to the World Trade Organisation seeking consultations with India on its “domestic content requirement” for solar panels.

This has been an ongoing trade issue between the two countries, with the US first taking it to WTO in February 2013. The rules have changed since, but not enough from the US point of view.

“These unfair requirements are against the WTO rules, and we are standing up today for the rights of American workers and businesses,” said US trade representative Mike Froman.

Under the “domestic content requirement” rule, India expects foreign suppliers to use specified locally sourced components such as cells and thin-films used in solar panels.

“Consultation” is the first stage in WTO’s dispute settlement process that allows countries to resolve the matter bilaterally through negotiation within 60 days.

Failure can lead to adjudication by a panel. India and the US have had 14 past or current WTO disputes.

US officials insisted the timing of the current action had nothing to do with the state of bilateral ties recovering from the Devyani Khobragade imbroglio, the worst point since 1998.

Officials also insisted they did not see it as the start or continuation of a trade war. These things happen in a “mature” trade relationship, said an official on background.

US businesses have in recent days brought on unprecedented pressure on their government and lawmakers to force India to yield on trade issues they find discriminatory.

Their main grouse is India’s patent regime.

On solar panels, the US contends that India’s “domestic content requirements” of solar panel components discriminate against American companies, which together employ 10,000 people.

US exports of solar panels to India in 2011, before the start of the domestic content requirements, were worth $119 million, not a great sum when bilateral trade is $67.3 billion a year.

The size of the current Indian market, therefore, is not as much a worry as where it’s going: the Indian solar power generation industry is expected to grow 20 times.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Venice Critics’ Week to open with British drama, Prevenge
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome