India should actively raise disputes against WTO incompatible schemes: GTRI

World Trade Organisation, WTO

GTRI Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava said that as the trade protection measures are on the rise in both the EU and the US.


With most of the developed regions like the US and EU have turned protectionist and are taking WTO incompatible measures, India should actively raise trade disputes to counter their steps, think tank GTRI said on Monday.


The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) said for raising disputes, the government would require a professional setup akin to the US Trade Representative and a robust panel of experts as the current set up lacks depth.


In June, the US and India agreed to drop six WTO (World Trade Organisation) disputes, encompassing three cases initiated by each.


This was possible because India filed several cases against the US, it added.


“Most nations, including the US and EU have turned protectionist and implement many WTO incompatible schemes. India need to actively raise disputes against them to counter or later bargain,” it said.


GTRI Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava said that as the trade protection measures are on the rise in both the EU and the US, “we expect such cases to increase in number in the coming years”.


The policies like carbon tax by the EU will make exports tougher with additional tariff ranging between 20-35 per cent on full impact, he said.


“The road ahead requires a balanced approach, harmonising domestic economic interests with genuine global trade obligations,” he added.


India continues to face challenges in managing its export promotion schemes within the framework of international trade laws.


In 2023, both the US and EU recommended countervailing tariffs on four Indian products, alleging that they received undue competitive advantages from Indian government schemes, which harmed importing country industries, the GTRI said.


Notably, three of these products — Paper File Folders, Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet, and Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks — are common to both lists. This raises the question of whether both the US and EU exchanged information or coordinated their decisions, it said.


The investigations covered two main categories: Countervailing Duty (CVD) and Antidumping Duty (AD) probes.


The CVD investigation focuses on whether the manufacturers in the exporting country (in this case, India) receive unfair government subsidies, which could harm the competing industries in the importing country.


Countervailing duties are tariffs imposed by a country on imported goods that are subsidised by the exporting country’s government.


The duty amount is typically equivalent to the value of the foreign subsidy.


On the other hand, the antidumping duty investigations are conducted to determine if manufacturers in the exporting country are selling a product in the importing country at less than its fair value, which could be detrimental to the domestic industry of the importing country.


“Through different investigations running across many products, the European Union (EU), the US have concluded that many Indian export schemes were subsidy,” it said.

First Published: Dec 18 2023 | 5:01 PM IST

Indian think tank GTRI has urged India to actively raise trade disputes against the US and EU in response to their increasing trade protectionism measures. GTRI emphasized the need for a professional setup similar to the US Trade Representative and a strong panel of experts to effectively handle trade disputes. The think tank noted that India has previously filed cases against the US, resulting in the resolution of six WTO disputes. GTRI Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava warned that trade protection measures are rising in both the EU and the US, and expects the number of such cases to increase in the future. The EU’s carbon tax policy, for example, could make exports more challenging for India due to additional tariffs. GTRI emphasized the importance of balancing domestic economic interests with global trade obligations. India continues to face challenges in managing its export promotion schemes within the framework of international trade laws. The US and EU have recommended countervailing tariffs on four Indian products, alleging unfair government subsidies. GTRI raised concerns about the coordination between the US and EU in their decisions. The investigations covered countervailing duty and antidumping duty probes to determine unfair subsidies and pricing practices. The EU and the US concluded that many Indian export schemes involved subsidies.,

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