Taiwan is seeking India’s consultation under the WTO’s safeguard agreement against the import duty that India had imposed on solar cells for two years, as the global trade body said. The decision was taken to preserve domestic players from a steep rise in inbound purchases. A safeguard duty of up to 25% was imposed on solar cells that were imported from China and Malaysia.
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However, the discussions do not come under WTO’s dispute settlement system. India had forced safeguard tariff of up to 25% on solar cells imports from China and Malaysia for two years to protect domestic players from steep increase in inbound shipments.
Taiwan says it has a substantial interest as an exporter of the product. The purpose of the consultation is to “exchange views on the proposed measures and reaching an understanding on ways to achieve the objectives” set out in an article of the WTO Agreement on Safeguards, the WTO said.
Taiwan seeks to hold consultations “as soon as possible and looks forward to India’s positive response to this request,” it added.
According to an expert, seeking discussions under the safeguard agreement is a way to inform other nations that they are not meeting their duties under the WTO rules.
The electrical devices that convert sunlight directly into electricity are known as solar cells. These are imported primarily from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. Imports of solar cells from Malaysia and China account for more than 90% of the total inbound shipments in the country.