US drags India, China to WTO over subsidies

By Arun Kumar,IANS,

Washington : The United States has dragged the world’s two largest economies, India and China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over their subsidy programmes complaining the “situation was simply intolerable”.

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Washington has sought from the two countries “prompt provision of detailed information and data” regarding the operation of 50 subsidy programmes in India and 200 programmes in China, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced Thursday.

“The situation was simply intolerable,” said Kirk. “Every member of the WTO is required to come clean on its subsidy programmes on a regular basis.

“India only recently filed its first notification in almost ten years, and even then notified only three of the many subsidy programmes we know to exist,” he said and “China has not notified its subsidy programmes in over five years.”

“Because China and India have failed to meet their respective obligations, we had to act – as we are entitled to under the WTO rules – and provide the voluminous information we have developed regarding subsidy programmes in these two countries,” Kirk said.

“In the last ten years, India has submitted only one notification, which was also noticeably incomplete,” he complained.

The US would have preferred to avoid Thursday’s filings “but we have done so to hold China and India accountable and to enforce the rules that all WTO Members must follow,” USTR said.

“It is past time for China and India to be transparent about their subsidy programmes, and that includes meeting their notification obligations like other WTO Members.

“China and India are among the largest exporters in the WTO, and it is simply not acceptable that they continue to evade their transparency commitments,” Kirk said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])