US-India bilateral meeting on April 11 to settle trade disputes

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US-India bilateral meeting on April 11 to settle trade disputes

India is expected to share more details of the export subsidy programs with the US during the consultation meeting.

India and the US will hold bilateral talks on April 11 at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Geneva regarding Washington’s complaint alleging discriminatory export subsidies given by New Delhi.

The formal consultation meeting is the first step of dispute settlement mechanism of the global trade body. If both the nations couldn’t arrive at a consensus after the meeting, the US can request the WTO to constitute a dispute settlement panel to review their claims.

Assistant US trade representative Mark Linscott will visit India before the consultation meeting and hold talks with senior commerce ministry officials on April 9, reported The Financial Express.

The meeting is expected to set the stage for upcoming trade policy forum (TPF) meeting between the US and India later this year.

Last month, the US approached WTO alleging that the export subsidies provided by India through various programs harm the US workers.

The letter sent by the US alleged that India violated the norms of Article 3.1(a) of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) and that India appears to have acted inconsistently with Article 3.2 of the SCM Agreement.

In the complaint, the US has questioned almost all export subsidy programs run by the Indian government. The letter has listed five programs; Export Oriented Units Scheme and sector-specific schemes, including Electronics Hardware Technology Parks Scheme; Special Economic Zones; Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme; and a duty-free imports for exporters program.

India is expected to share more details of the export subsidy programs with the US during the consultation meeting.

Washington has argued that India is subject to the obligations of Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement because India’s gross national product per capita has reached $1,000 per annum. But, India provides subsidies contingent upon export performance. The measures appear to be inconsistent with Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement, and India appears to have acted inconsistently with Article 3.2 of the SCM Agreement, alleged the US.

According to Washington, Indian companies receive benefits totaling over $ 7 billion annually under several export promotion schemes and this adversely affects American workers by creating an uneven playing field.

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