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US challenges Indian export subsidy programmes in WTO
15
Mar '18
US challenges Indian export subsidy programmes in WTO
The United States has requested dispute settlement consultations with the Government of India at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging Indian export subsidy programmes, including the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and sector specific schemes like Special Economic Zones (SEZs); and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme.

“These export subsidy programmes harm American workers by creating an uneven playing field on which they must compete,” said US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer in a statement. “USTR will continue to hold our trading partners accountable by vigorously enforcing US rights under our trade agreements and by promoting fair and reciprocal trade through all available tools, including the WTO.”

These apparent export subsidies provide financial benefits to Indian exporters that allow them to sell their goods more cheaply to the detriment of American workers and manufacturers.    

Through subsidy programmes, the Government of India provides exemptions from certain duties, taxes, and fees; reduces import duty liability; and benefits numerous Indian exporters, including producers of textiles, apparel, steel products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and information technology products, USTR statement said.

According to Indian government documents, thousands of Indian companies are receiving benefits totalling over $7 billion annually from these programmes, it added.

Consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process.  If the United States and India are not able to reach a mutually agreed solution through consultations, the United States may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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