India successfully challenges U.S. at WTO
A World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Panel has ruled that the imposition of Countervailing Duty (CVD) by the United States Department of Commerce (US DOC) on India’s exports of hot-rolled carbon steel flat products is inconsistent with the law on subsidies.
The ruling was circulated on Monday. India has now said that it is evaluating all other products of Indian origin on which the U.S. has applied the same provisions. This provision has been in existence in the U.S. for many years and India is the first country to successfully challenge it, according to a release from the Commerce Ministry.
The measures continue to be in force and adversely impact the Indian exports, the release said. India had challenged the determinations made by the US DOC in various investigations and reviews, contending that its programmes do not confer any subsidy on the Indian exporters. The provisions under challenge were that of US Tariff Act and the Code of Federal Regulations as being inconsistent with the provisions of the WTO Subsidy Agreement (ASCM).
The matter was taken up before the WTO Dispute Panel as the two parties could not resolve the issue bilaterally. “One of the major rulings in favour of India is that the Panel has held that the U.S. law mandating cumulation of non-subsidised imports with subsidised imports while determining injury in a CVD investigation is inconsistent with WTO obligations,” the release said.
“This ruling potentially questions the validity of a number of other CVD proceedings conducted by the United States on products of Indian origin.”
In addition to the above ruling, the Panel has held that the U.S. had no factual basis to hold that the grant of mining rights for iron ore and coal was a subsidy. The Panel could not consider some of India’s claims such as those relating to the methods of calculating the amount of subsidies and one relating to the application of adverse fact available, the release said. The ruling is appealable before the WTO Appellate Body and the decision to appeal against the same is currently under active consideration.