India-US dispute over solar cells, modules intensifies — WTO

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In view of the above, India strongly objects to the United States request of December 19 2017, the statement also read. Washington had skipped legal steps, failed to follow the correct WTO procedure and omitted to mention any specific level of trade sanctions that it proposed to level on India, leaving India severely prejudiced, the statement also read.

In 2013, Washington had complained to the WTO, claiming that U.S. exports of solar items to India had declined 90% since 2011 because of India's "discriminatory practices".

Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) had in December initiated a Safeguard investigation on solar cells on a complaint filed by solar representative body Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) on behalf of five producers - Mundra Solar PV, Jupiter Solar Power Limited, Indosolar Limited, Websol Energy Systems Limited and Helios Photo Voltaic Limited.

The DGAD had said in a December notification: "The application has been examined and it has been found that prima facie the increased imports of the PUC have caused and are threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic industry of products that are like and directly competitive to the PUC".

The five applicants - which collectively manufacture more than 50 per cent of Indian solar cells - claimed that on account of the surge in imports of the solar cells "many domestic producers have kept their production facilities nearly idle and the heavy losses have crippled them". "Accordingly, it has been made a decision to initiate an investigation through the issue of this Notice".

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India lost the solar dispute in September 2016, after the WTO's highest court-the Appellate Body-upheld a ruling that India violated several core provisions on national treatment and trade-related investment measures.

World powers are struggling to be at the top of the game of renewable energy as conventional means of electricity are getting scarce.

Even as investigations continue in India to levy safeguard duties and anti-dumping duties, custom officials are asking for import duties on solar modules.

"The annual import volumes of the solar cells have increased from 1,275 Mw in 2014-15 to 9,474 Mw in 2017-18".

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

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