India Vows to Stand Ground in New Solar Trade Fight With U.S.

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 01: Solar photovoltaic panels generate electricity at an Exelon solar power facility on September 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The 10-megawatt facility located on the city's south side is the largest urban solar installation in the United States. The 32,292 panels can generate more than 14,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to meet the annual energy requirements of up to 1,500 homes.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Feb. 11, 2014, 12:17 a.m.

A top In­di­an of­fi­cial is par­ry­ing new U.S. trade com­plaints about the na­tion’s sol­ar-en­ergy prac­tices, Re­u­ters re­ports. In­dia’s trade min­is­ter spoke Tues­day, a day after the U.S. an­nounced a World Trade Or­gan­iz­a­tion com­plaint against In­dia’s sol­ar-power pro­gram, al­leging it wrongly freezes out U.S. man­u­fac­tur­ers.

“In­dia will re­spond at the WTO ad­equately,” Trade Min­is­ter Anand Sharma told re­port­ers, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters. “We may also have some is­sues with them with re­gard to sol­ar. We may also have an ap­plic­a­tion or may move the WTO.”

It’s the latest trade battle over ac­cess to grow­ing re­new­able-en­ergy mar­kets. Amer­ic­an trade of­fi­cials, in Monday’s com­plaint, took aim at In­dia’s “do­mest­ic con­tent” rules for sol­ar pro­jects.

“These do­mest­ic-con­tent re­quire­ments dis­crim­in­ate against U.S. ex­ports by re­quir­ing sol­ar-power de­velopers to use In­di­an-man­u­fac­tured equip­ment in­stead of U.S. equip­ment. These un­fair re­quire­ments are against WTO rules, and we are stand­ing up today for the rights of Amer­ic­an work­ers and busi­nesses,” U.S. Trade Rep­res­ent­at­ive Mi­chael Fro­man said in an­noun­cing the com­plaint.

The new ac­tion fol­lows an earli­er com­plaint against In­dia’s sol­ar prac­tices filed in Feb­ru­ary 2013, Bloomberg notes.

The U.S. ex­por­ted $119 mil­lion worth of sol­ar-in­dustry gear to In­dia in 2011, but that sales have since de­clined due to In­dia’s loc­al con­tent re­quire­ments, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.

The As­so­ci­ated Press has more here on the U.S.-In­dia sol­ar-trade battle.

It fol­lows a tense dis­pute between the na­tions over U.S. charges against an In­di­an dip­lo­mat, but U.S. of­fi­cials say the trade com­plaint is un­re­lated.

 “U.S. of­fi­cials say the trade case was in the works long be­fore the Decem­ber ar­rest of In­dia’s deputy con­sul gen­er­al in New York, Devy­ani Kho­bragade, who was ac­cused of visa fraud and un­der-pay­ing her maid. In a com­prom­ise, Kho­bragade was in­dicted then de­por­ted in Janu­ary, and both gov­ern­ments say they want to re­pair the re­la­tion­ship,” AP re­ports.

What We're Following See More »
More People Watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech
22 hours ago

Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.