India’s appeal against WTO solar ruling rejected

Geneva: India suffered a setback in its efforts to build a robust domestic solar industry on Friday as the appellate body (AB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) upheld an earlier ruling against its domestic content requirements for manufacturing solar cells and modules.

The earlier panel ruling held that India violated global trade rules such as national treatment provisions under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures by imposing mandatory local content requirements on solar power developers, providing a guaranteed rate for 25-year term.

The solar dispute arose from a complaint lodged by the United States against India. Early this year, a dispute settlement panel panel issued a comprehensive ruling in favour of US’ claims against India’s domestic content requirements.

The national treatment obligations required India to treat imported solar cells and modules on par with domestically produced products without any discrimination under Article III:4 of the GATT 1994.

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