WTO headquarters
India to complain on U.S' violations of WTO treaties. Picture: The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters is pictured in Geneva April 10, 2013.Reuters

India is expected to file 16 cases against the U.S. for violating many World Trade Organisation (WTO) treaties, reported the Press Trust of India. Parliament on Wednesday was informed that most of the complaints pertain to the renewable energy sector.

Replying to a question on whether India was preparing to file complaints, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said "yes" in the lower house of Parliament. She added that certain renewable energy programmes adopted by many states in the U.S. were "inconsistent" with WTO provisions.

She pointed out that many obligations under General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT), 1994, Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) and/or Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) Agreement were violated by the U.S. energy programmes.

On India's National Solar Mission, and a component under it requiring domestic manufacturing of cells and modules, the minister said the requirement was only for a few of the programmes under the mission. The findings and recommendations of the dispute settlement panel, she added in a separate reply, were being challenged before the WTO Appellate Body.

In a third reply, the minister admitted that the U.S. had placed India on its priority watch list under the U.S. Special 301 report (for the third year in a row) claiming India's intellectual property protection laws were inadequate.

The Special 301 report under U.S.'s Trade Act of 1974, the minister sid, "is a unilateral measure to create pressure on countries to enhance IPR protection beyond the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement."

Calling the report an "extra-territorial application" of a domestic law of a country on another, the minister said it was violating the norms established by the WTO.

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