Friday, February 15, 2013
Earlier this week, the United States initiated dispute settlement proceedings at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in connection with alleged unfair trade practices involving solar panels from India. Accoding to a WTO press release, the United States alleges that "India requires solar power developers to buy and use domestic solar cells and solar modules in order to benefit from participating in the Jawaharlal Nehru [National Solar Mission] (NSM) programme and to enter into contracts under the NSM programme or with the National Power Company. According to the United States, the benefits for solar power developers, contingent on their purchase and use of domestic solar cells and solar modules, would include subsidies through guaranteed, long-term electricity rates."
As a result, the United States requested consultations with India, the first step in the WTO dispute resolution process. If consulations fail to resolve the matter within 60 days, the United States may request the establishment of a dispute resolution panel. The matter has been assigned number WT/DS456/1.
In other WTO news this past week, Japan and the European Union (EU) both filed cross-appeals of panel decisions. Japan filed a cross appeal in the dispute involving “Canada — Renewable Energy” (WT/DS412) and the EU filed a cross appeal in the dispute involving “Canada — Feed-in Tariff Program” (WT/DS426). Canada had filed appeals of these reports on February 5, 2013.