Port Wings News Network:
At its meeting on 28 May, the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed to a request from the United States for the establishment of a dispute panel to examine certain alleged export subsidy measures in India.
The DSB also agreed to a request from Korea for a dispute panel to examine US anti-dumping and countervailing duties on certain products from Korea and the US use of “facts available”.
The United States said all WTO members, including India, are required to provide subsidies consistent with provisions of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM), including refraining from providing subsidies contingent upon export performance.
Regrettably, the US said, India appears to be providing such subsidies through various export promotion programmes, special economic zones and duty-free imports for the exporters programme. The US said it sought to resolve its concerns with India through prior consultations but that India was continuing to grant these export-contingent subsidies and even expanded the scope and scale of its export subsidies. In line with Article 4.4 of the ASCM, the US asked the DSB to establish a panel upon first request.
India said it was disappointed that the United States had chosen to move forward with a request for a panel, as it believed bilateral consultations held on 11 April were constructive. During the consultations, India provided a detailed understanding of the schemes implemented under India’s Foreign Trade Policy by answering all the questions raised by the US. India said the schemes identified by the US do not violate India’s WTO obligations and are in conformity with all the elements of the ASCM. India also said it had concerns with the broad and imprecise nature of the initial US request for consultations which is not in conformity with the requirements under the ASCM and the Dispute Settlement Understanding.
The DSB agreed to the establishment of the panel. The European Union, Canada, China, Egypt, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Russian Federation and Sri Lanka reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel proceedings.