The World Trade Organization (WTO) panel was set up last year to examine whether renewable energy programs in the US states constituted prohibited subsidies and violated national treatment provisions.
On Thursday, India won a major trade dispute against the US at WTO, with a dispute settlement panel pronouncing that subsidies and mandatory local content requirements instituted by eight American states breached global trade rules.
In a significant 100-page report, the three-member panel largely upheld India’s claims that subsidies and local content requirement in 11 renewable energy programs in eight US states violated core global trade rules. The panel also asked the US to ensure that these states are in conformity with trade rules.
India had claimed that the “domestic content requirements and subsidies instituted by the governments of these 11 states in the energy sector violated several provisions of the Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) Agreement and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement.
The panel urged the US to bring the eight states in conformity with US obligations under Article III:4 of “national treatment”. Under the national treatment provision, foreign producers must be treated on a par with domestic producers.
The ruling contains several “systemic implications” and exposed the illegal measures adopted by the US and its states.
At a time when the US is pursuing several trade disputes against India, particularly against the nation’s export-related schemes, a victory in the renewable energy sector could help India in settling other disputes with Washington.
The US can still challenge the panel’s ruling before the Appellate Body.
Reference- livemint, Business Standard, Economic Times