India takes US to WTO over duties on steel imports

Category: WTO Sub-category: World Trade Organisation
Document type: news

17-Apr-2012 | 1:30 IST | Edited by: Sharmila Maitra

India has taken US to the World Trade Organisation for imposing duties on import of certain Indian steel products.

The move by the government came after Washington imposed duties of nearly 300% on Indian steel pipe imports. The government complained that they were unfairly subsidized.

On 12th of April 2012, India had requested a consultation with the US under the dispute settlement system concerning the latter's countervailing duties on certain steel products from India.

Consultation normally gives the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation. The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO.

Moreover, countervailing duties are imposed to neutralise the subsidies on products given by the exporting nation.

This might be interesting to note that recent reports from Washington have shown that the US had levied a countervailing duty of 286% duty in late March on import of circular welded carbon quality steel pipes from India stating that they were unfairly subsidised. The Indian steel pipe imports to the US were around $64.5 million in value terms.

The non-alloy or carbon steel exports from India have been on the rise and for the April-February 2012 period grew 26% to 3.36 million tonnes over corresponding last year.

However, after 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.

Recently, India had also dragged the US to the WTO for the visa fee hike which allegedly discriminates against the Indian software companies sending professionals to the US on short-term contracts.

Further, last month, the United States initiated a challenge to New Delhi's ban on poultry and egg imports, saying it violated global trade rules.