US takes India to WTO over solar policy

Featured India World - February 9th, 2013
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The US has launched a trade complaint against India over its national solar policy saying it “discriminates” against US products.

The US claimed that India requires solar energy producers to use Indian-manufactured solar cells and modules, and subsidizes developers for using domestic products rather than imported ones. Such policies were inconsistent with global trade rules, Washington said.

The US said it wanted to ensure that is companies were given an equal opportunity to compete in the Indian market as the energy-hungry country seeks greater use of solar energy, the Financial Times reported this week.

“Unfortunately, India’s discriminatory policies in its national solar programme detract from that successful cooperation, raise the cost of clean energy, and undermine progress towards our shared objective,” US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We will not hesitate to enforce our rights under our trade agreements on behalf of American workers and manufacturers,” he added.

Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary in India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, denied that it violated WTO rules, according to Bloomberg.

India has lodged its own complaint at the WTO against import duties levied on Indian steel products by the US.