That’s Rich: US To Turn The Heat On India Over Solar Subsidies

  • Date: 11/02/14
  • Reuters

The United States plans to take India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over subsidies New Delhi gives to its solar power industry, an Indian government source said on Monday, a step that could further strain relations between the countries.

At the time of going to press, US Trade Representative Michael Froman, was due to make a trade enforcement announcement linked to India in Washington on Monday afternoon at 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. The Indian official said Washington had informed New Delhi of the trade action it planned to take.

The United States filed a challenge with the WTO last February over elements of India’s national solar programme, which it said discriminates against foreign solar products in violation of a core global trade rule.

It was not immediately clear how Monday’s scheduled announcement relates to that action.

India’s solar programme, launched in 2010, appears to discriminate against US solar equipment by requiring solar energy producers to use Indian-manufactured solar cells and modules and by offering subsidies to those developers for using domestic equipment instead of imports, the US trade office said last February.

Last April, India hit back at the US accusations, suggesting Washington was also guilty of the banned practices. It asked Washington to justify incentives offered to US companies to use local labour and products in renewable energy and water projects, in filings to the WTO.

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