India asks WTO to set up panel against US for high import duty on steel, aluminium

India’s trade dispute with America has reached to a next level in the World Trade Organization (WTO), as India asked the WTO to form a panel against the USA for imposing high import duties on aluminium and certain steel products. India decision to urge WTO to set up panel came after both countries failed to resolve the issue in a bilateral talk process under the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.

India, Russia, Japan, China, European Union and Turkey have all dismissed US claim regarding the U.S. tariffs as ”safeguards” under the WTO rules, entitling them to a combined $3.5 billion in annual compensation. They dragged the US in the WTO for tariff imposition which triggered global trade tensions.

As per the experts, America’s decision to impose tariffs will impact India’s export of these goods and hit global trade. The entire basis of the US action is based on its own perception of security threat issue. This cannot be a ground to impose these duties.

However, some experts are also in the opinion that dragging the US in the dispute over the issue is not a positive step since India had a trade surplus with America. Both countries are also involved in several other disputes in the WTO, including in the areas of poultry, export incentives, solar and steel.

In retaliation to the imposition of duties by the US, India had decided to increase customs duty on 29 American products such as almond, walnut, pulses and iron and steel items. The duties would come into effect from December 17.

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