India challenges US renewable energy programs at WTO

India has filed a new dispute against the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging domestic content requirements and subsidies in renewable energy programs across eight states.

The complaint, highlighted by the WTO on Monday, argues that renewable energy programs in Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota are getting favorable treatment compared with imported products to the United States. 

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India's case charges that the energy program measures are inconsistent with WTO's rules "because they provide less favorable treatment to imported products than to like domestic products, and because the subsidies are contingent on the use of domestic over imported goods," the trade group said.

The new case comes a few days ahead of an expected WTO Appellate Body decision on a U.S. challenge to India's domestic content requirements for solar cells and solar modules under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

In that case, a WTO panel issued a ruling on the U.S. claims on Feb. 24. In April, India filed an appeal.

The request for consultations is the first step in a dispute at the WTO under the dispute settlement system. 

After 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant can request a panel review.

Consultations give the parties a chance to talk about issue and work out a solution without proceeding further with litigation.