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WTO compliance panel on US countervailing duties on steel rejects several claims by India

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2019 Published on November 15, 2019

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Ruling can be appealed in the next 60 days

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) compliance panel investigating United States (US) countervailing duties on Indian steel products has rejected India’s claims that the US’ reinvestigation following the original dispute had made errors in finding India's National Mineral Development Corporation to be a `public body’ and in finding that various subsidies had conferred a `benefit’.

The panel also rejected India's claims that the US’ reinvestigation had incorrectly found the subsidy programmes at issue to be "specific" except for one programme related to mining leases for iron ore, a Geneva-based trade official explained.

The panel, however, upheld India's claim that the US took no measure to bring certain legislative provisions in compliance with its obligations under the WTO’s subsidies and countervailing measures (SCM ) Agreement. This provision pertains to the circumstances in which investigated products from various countries can be cumulated for injury assessments ,and was found to be inconsistent.

In December 2014, the WTO had ruled against the US imposing countervailing duty on imports of certain Indian steel products. Countervailing duties are imposed on imports of those items that receive subsidies in the country where they are produced and the subsidised imports also cause injury to the domestic industry of the importing country.

In April 2018, the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body accepted India’s request for a compliance panel as it claimed that the US reinvestigation following the original dispute into whether to apply countervailing duties on imports of certain hot rolled carbon steel flat products from India was inconsistent with various provisions of the SCM Agreement. India also said that the US had not addressed the inconsistency from the original dispute concerning the Appellate Body’s finding in respect of a United States legislative measure.

“India and the US can notify their decision to appeal the judgement of the panel in the next 20 days-60 days. If that doesn’t happen then the panel decision will be adopted,” the official said.

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Published on November 15, 2019
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