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India-US Trade Dispute at WTO

Source: TH

 Context: India and the United States have resolved to end their six trade disputes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

 

 The six disputes include:

  • Those initiated by India
    • Countervailing measures on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India
    • Measures relating to the renewable energy sector
    • Certain measures on steel and aluminium products
  • Those initiated by USA:
    • Certain measures relating to solar cells and modules
    • Export-related measures
    • Additional duties on some products from the US

 

Pending dispute: The one pending case is the poultry case where both India and the US remain involved in discussions to find a solution by the end of this year.

 

Significance:

The resolution of these disputes is viewed positively and is likely to contribute to the promotion of trade, enhance India’s exports to the US (In 2022-23 U.S. was the largest trading partner of India) and promotion of 2+2 dialogue between the two nations. The disputes cover various areas such as steel, aluminium, solar energy, and export-related measures.

 

WTO Dispute Resolution Process: 

There are two main ways to settle a dispute once a complaint has been filed in WTO:

  • Bilateral consultations: Parties find a mutually agreed solution, particularly during the phase of bilateral consultations.
  • Adjudication, including the subsequent implementation of the panel and Appellate Body, reports.

 

The WTO dispute settlement process involves three stages:

  1. Consultations between the parties
  2. Establishment of a dispute settlement panel if consultations fail
  3. Adjudication by panels.

 

The rulings or reports of the panels can be challenged by the WTO’s appellate body. However, the functioning of the appellate body is currently affected due to the USA blocking appointments to it. The final stage is the implementation of the ruling. As an alternative to the Appellate body, members have formed Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA)