India rejects US claim on solar policy at World Trade Organization 

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India responded to the US claim by refuting the allegations raised for the second time in five years by Washington seeking trade sanctions against India.

On Monday, India rejected the claims raised by the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on its solar policy in an attempt to protect its booming solar industry, Reuters reported.

An agenda issued in December had hinted that the US would bring India to the multilateral trade forum for failing to comply with the WTO ruling on solar power.

Washington alleges that the National Solar Mission unveiled by India in 2011 discriminates against foreign companies. The US had raised the same complaint at WTO in 2013 citing 90 percent reduction in its solar exports to India since 2011.

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The US won the dispute when the judges ruled against India last year saying it violated the rules by compelling manufacturers to use Indian-made cells and modules.

But, the latest move by the US hints that the country is not going to back off from the issue.

Rejecting the claims of the US, India, on Monday, said it has changed the rules to conform with the WTO regulations after the order last year and the arguments of the US for punitive trade sanctions were groundless.

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“India underscores that the United States’ request is not a valid request,” India said. It alleged the US of skipping legal steps and failing to follow the procedure while seeking trade sanctions against India.

“In view of the above, India strongly objects to the US request of 19 December 2017,” India added.

On December 19, 2017, India had informed the WTO that it was considering a safeguard investigation on solar cells.

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A safeguard investigation seeks to determine whether increased imports of a product are causing, or is threatening to cause, serious injury to a domestic industry.

A WTO member may take a safeguard action (i.e. restrict imports of a product temporarily) only if the increased imports of the product are found to be causing, or threatening to cause, serious injury.