US, India resolve trade disputes, launch “new beginning”
Amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s state visit to the US at the invitation of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, India, and the US have agreed to end six trade disputes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while New Delhi will also remove retaliatory customs duties on 28 American products such as almonds, walnuts, and apples.
These tariff cuts will restore and expand market opportunities for US agricultural producers and manufacturers.
United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced that the US and India have agreed to terminate six outstanding disputes at the World Trade Organization.
“India also agreed to remove retaliatory tariffs which it had imposed in response to the Section 232 national security measures on steel and aluminium,” Tai said on Thursday.
In 2018, the US imposed 25 percent and 10 percent import duties on certain steel and aluminium products respectively on grounds of national security. In retaliation, India in June 2019 imposed customs duties on 28 American products, including chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, apples, boric acid, and diagnostic reagents.
Tai added, “Today’s agreement represents the culmination of intensified bilateral engagement over the last two years, including through the US-India Trade Policy Forum, to deepen our economic and trade ties.”
“As a result of our work, US agricultural producers and manufacturers will now enjoy renewed access to a critical global market and we will strengthen our trade relationship with one of our closest partners. I look forward to continuing to work with my counterpart, (India’s Commerce and Industry) Minister (Piyush) Goyal, as we identify additional ways to bring our people and our economies together,” she added.
The six disputes include three initiated by India and as many by the US.
These include countervailing measures on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India, certain measures relating to solar cells and modules, measures relating to the renewable energy sector, export-related measures, certain measures on steel and aluminum products, and additional duties on some products from the US.
According to trade experts, both countries can resolve the disputes on mutually agreed terms and later inform the Geneva-based WTO about the same.
According to WTO rules, a member country can file a case in the Geneva-based multilateral body if they feel that a particular trade measure is against the norms of the world body. Bilateral consultation is the first step to resolving a dispute. If both sides are not able to resolve the matter through consultation, either of them can approach the establishment of a dispute settlement panel.
The US had filed a complaint in the WTO about India’s support measures to its export sector under different schemes. In 2019, a WTO dispute panel ruled that India’s export measures are inconsistent with global trade norms.
The US is the largest trading partner of India. In 2022-23, the bilateral goods trade increased to USD 128.8 billion as against USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22.
[With Inputs from IANS]
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.