India-USA : Steel and Aluminium Duty Issue

  • India has dragged United States (US) to World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Mechanism over imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium.
  • India stated that decision of imposition of import duties impact its exports of these products to US and is not in compliance with global trade norms.
  • India has sought consultations with US as first step of dispute settlement process under the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.
  • If the two nations are not able to reach mutually agreed solution through consultation, India may request for WTO dispute settlement panel to review matter.
  • In March 2018, US President Donald Trump had imposed heavy import tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that has sparked fears of global trade war.
  • He had signed two proclamations that levied 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.
  • India had sought exemptions from the hefty tariffs.
  • US decision had not only impacted India’s export of these goods but also affected global trade.
  • India’s exports of steel and aluminium products to US stood at about US $1.5 billion every year.
  • India and US are already involved in disputes at WTO, a global trade body.
  • The disputes are in the areas of poultry, solar and steel.
  • US recently had filed dispute against India on export incentives alleging these support measures harm its workers by creating an uneven playing field.

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