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Modi Govt Reveals That India Involved In 14 Disputes At WTO

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 13, Jul 2019, 20:23 pm IST | UPDATED: 13, Jul 2019, 20:23 pm IST

Modi Govt Reveals That India Involved In 14 Disputes At WTO Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government on Friday revealed in the Parliament that India is involved in as many as 14 disputes at the World Trade Organisation and several law firms are handling all of them, news agency PTI reported. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that In one of these disputes, the expertise of the Geneva-based international law organisation 'Advisory Centre on WTO Law' was engaged to guide a domestic law firm.

'Advisory Centre on WTO Law' assists developing countries on WTO law. WTO is a global trade rule making body and India is a part of the 164-member multi-lateral organisation. "At present, India is involved in 14 WTO disputes, all of which are being handled by domestic law firms," Goyal said. The disputes include measures concerning importation of certain agricultural products with the US and certain measures on imports of iron and steel products with Japan.
In a separate reply, Goyal also stated that there is no proposal to set up a separate logistics department under active consideration of the ministry. The senior BJP leader also said that as many as 55 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposals have been received till June this calendar year under the government approval route.

One of the most crucial disputes India has is the duty hike issue with the United States. Donald Trump administration, on July 4, dragged India to the WTO by filing a complaint against New Delhi's move to increase customs duties on 28 American goods, alleging the decision is inconsistent with the global trade norms. According to a communication of the Geneva-based trading body, the US said that the additional duties imposed by India "appears to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to the US directly or indirectly" under the GATT 1994.

However, in another dispute case with the US on renewable energy, the WTO dispute resolution panel has ruled in favour of India in a case against the US saying that America's domestic content requirements and subsidies provided by eight of its states in the renewable energy sector are violative of global trade norms. The panel concluded in its ruling that 'the measures' of the US 'are inconsistent' with certain provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Even Australia has intensified its sugar related dispute with India by formally asking WTO to set up a panel to probe if the world's second-largest sugar producer was breaching its obligations, a media revealed. In March this year, Australia was joined by Brazil to lodge a formal complaint against India with the WTO alleging that India's continued sugar subsidies to farmers have led to a 'glut' and 'depressed' global prices.
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