After mutually resolving six trade disputes with the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO), New Delhi and Washington are now trying to engage in ending their last pending dispute over poultry products, a senior government official said on Thursday.
In July, India and the US mutually resolved six trade disputes pending at the WTO, in line with the commitment made by the two countries during the US visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June. The six disputes include three initiated by India and as many by the US. The official said that now the two countries have resolved six out of seven trade disputes, and “we are trying to resolve the seventh also”.
This matter along with some others are expected to figure during the bilateral meeting of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai in New Delhi. The official added that both countries are also exploring participation of their companies in government procurement systems in either countries. During Modi’s US visit in June, a joint statement stated that the prime minister had expressed India’s interest towards being recognized as a Trade Agreements Act-designated country by the US to further enhance the integration of both economies and promote bilateral trade and investment.
In this regard, the two sides have welcomed the initiation of discussions at an official level on issues related to bilateral government procurement. “We also want to be part of their process, they also want us to be a part of our process,” the official added. The six trade disputes which were resolved included a complaint by India against the US with regard to the imposition of countervailing duties on certain hot rolled carbon steel flat products from India. On September 9, 2016, India filed a case against the US pertaining to domestic content requirements and subsidies instituted by the governments of states of Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota, in the energy sector.
Another dispute filed by the US against India was related to domestic content requirements under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission for solar cells and solar modules. In 2018, the US filed a case against India’s alleged export subsidy measures. Similarly, on July 3, 2019, the US filed a dispute against New Delhi on imposition of additional duties with respect to certain products originating in the US. The poultry case was filed by the US against India in the WTO in 2012. India has lost the dispute both at the panel as well as the appellate body levels. It was ruled against India that New Delhi’s ban on imports of poultry products from the US was inconsistent with global norms.
As India was not able to implement the decision within the stipulated time frame, the US had demanded compensation. Now both countries are discussing ways to resolve the case mutually. The US is the largest trading partner of India. In 2022-23, the bilateral goods trade increased to USD 128.8 billion as against USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22.