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India, US resolve 6 out 7 WTO disputes through discussions amid PM Modi's State visit to the US
Image Credit: Image tweeted by @POTUS

India, US resolve 6 out 7 WTO disputes through discussions amid PM Modi's State visit to the US

| @indiablooms | 23 Jun 2023, 09:28 pm

New Delhi: India and the US successfully resolved six out of seven disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO) through bilateral discussions during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's State visit to the US, according to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

This positive outcome was achieved as part of the ongoing discussions between Prime Minister Modi and US President Joe Biden, where various agreements were signed in the areas of defense, space, and technology, Goyal said, reported Moneycontrol.

The two nations also expressed their commitment to enhancing trade relations.

In the past few years, the US and India have encountered several trade disagreements, such as the US imposing high tariffs on steel and aluminum in 2018.

Out of the six disputes discussed during the bilateral discussions, three were initiated by India, and the remaining three were initiated by the US.

In 2018, the US implemented import duties of 25 percent and 10 percent on specific steel and aluminum products, respectively, citing national security concerns.

In response, India imposed customs duties on 28 American products, including chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, apples, boric acid, and diagnostic reagents, in June 2019.

India also filed a complaint against the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the imposition of these duties.

"The US has assured us that at least 70 percent of all such requests of steel, and 80 per cent of all such requests for aluminium applications for products originating in India will be excluded from the additional tarrifs," Goyal said.

With this India has also agreed to remove retaliatory customs duties on certain American products such as almonds, walnuts, and apples.

Following the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Washington, a joint statement was issued indicating that the two leaders were pleased with the resolution of six ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes through mutually agreed solutions.

In the case of poultry imports from the US, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal stated that discussions are underway, and a solution is expected to be reached by the end of this year.

"So, India and the US by the end of this year will have no disputes. All the six major ones have gone," the minister said.

In 2015, India lost a longstanding dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding poultry imports from the US.

As a result, India was given a 12-month period to comply with the WTO's ruling.

The US had initially sought trade sanctions against India in relation to this case.

There have been disagreements over India's export subsidy programs, with the US claiming that these subsidies provide financial advantages to Indian exporters, leading to the sale of goods at lower prices that could harm American workers and manufacturers.

While the disputes have been resolved, specific details about the future course of action have not been disclosed.

It is worth noting that, bilateral trade between the US and India has reached record levels, with the US becoming India's largest trading partner.

According to provisional data from the Commerce Ministry, bilateral trade between the two countries rose by 7.65 percent to $128.55 billion in the fiscal year 2022-23, compared to $119.5 billion in the previous year and $80.51 billion in 2020-21.

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