India Goes to WTO Regarding U.S. Anti-Subsidy Duties

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A new front seems to have opened up in India’s steel wars.

Only this time, the country seems to be fighting for its steel companies to be allowed to sell its steel in a foreign market.

India has complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the U.S. had failed to drop anti-subsidy duties on certain Indian steel products. The move comes on the heels of India itself having imposed anti-dumping duty on 47 steel products from six nations in May.

According to the Indian government, the U.S. had not kept its promise of an April 2016 deadline to comply with a WTO ruling that faulted it for imposing countervailing duties on hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India.

In December 2014, the WTO ruled against the U.S.’s move to impose high duty on imports of certain Indian steel products. The world body said the high duty by the U.S. was inconsistent with various provisions of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

The U.S. sought time until the April 2016 deadline to comply with the ruling. Realizing that the deadline had passed away without any action on part of the U.S. authorities, India has now requested the WTO dispute consultations with the U.S. regarding U.S. compliance.

Some experts say the U.S. will have to amend its domestic norms to comply with the WTO’s verdict on countervailing duties.

In May, India imposed anti-dumping duty on products from six nations — China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia — to protect its own industry from cheap imports.

Anti-dumping duty was imposed for five years on 47 steel products, including hot-rolled flat products of steel and those coated with zinc and clad steel. An official notification issued late yesterday stated that the anti-dumping duty will be in effect for five years, retroactive to Aug. 8, 2016, according to a report in the Deccan Chronicle. The duties are in the range of $478-$561 per ton.

Apart from steel, India has one more running dispute with the U.S. relating to the import of commodities.

In this case, it’s about chicken.

In 2015, India lost a case at the WTO, filed by the U.S. government, against restrictive measures that stopped American companies from selling poultry, including chicken legs, in the Indian market. The U.S.’s case was the restrictions were not based on scientific validation.

Later, India secured the establishment of a compliance panel at the WTO to determine whether it had complied with a previous ruling faulting import prohibitions on poultry due to bird flu concerns.

So the question now is: Which will come first – the chicken or steel?

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