EU, Japan Criticized India for Safeguard Duty on Solar Cells

The EU, at the meeting of WTO’s Safeguards Committee, recalled that safeguard measures should only be imposed under exceptional circumstances, particularly if the imports that are causing problems come from predominantly one source.

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The decision by India to impose safeguard duty on imported solar cells drew flak from Japan and the European Union at World Trade Organization (WTO). The two trade giants criticized the conduct of investigation and initial finding even though New Delhi joined seven WTO members to back China in lodging a protest against US import duty on aluminum and steel products.

The safeguard duties are imposed temporarily and are meant to save the industry from serious injury.

The EU, at the meeting of WTO’s Safeguards Committee, recalled that safeguard measures should only be imposed under exceptional circumstances, particularly if the imports that are causing problems come from predominantly one source.

Representative from EU at the meeting slammed India for its ‘casual analysis’ and added that injury analysis of imported solar cells was inconclusive since injury to other domestic producers needed to be assessed.

Assessing the risk to environment the trading bloc went on to warn that the actions will create serious domestic shortages investigation process, which involved reasonable public notice.

However, the Indian officials refuted the charges saying that in January, an advance notice about preliminary safeguard duty of 70% was given to WTO and that was followed by a challenge to the measure in the domestic courts.

The focus of the meeting was on US duty hike on steel and aluminum products, which China along with other members said was safeguard action. Trump administration had imposed these duties ‘under the guise of national security’.

Source: ET

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