The World Trade Organisation on Friday ruled against India in a dispute over solar power, reported Reuters. India had appealed to overturn a United States complaint that New Delhi had violated global WTO rules and made it mandatory for solar power developers to use Indian-made cells and modules. US solar exports to India reportedly fell more than 90% after India implemented its new rules.
According to the Jawaharlal Nehru Nation Solar Mission, solar power developers in India have to use indigenous cells and modules, reported the Economic Times. The US considered this a violation of international trade rules and took up the matter in February 2013. The WTO judges upheld an earlier ruling that said India cannot claim exemptions on the ground that its national solar power sector was included in government procurement, nor on the basis that solar goods were in short supply. India will now have to change laws and act in compliance with the WTO rules, according to PTI.
US trade representative Michael Froman told Reuters, "This report is a clear victory for American solar manufacturers and workers, and another step forward in the fight against climate change."
The WTO, which is the highest adjudicating body for global trade disputes, states that countries are not allowed to discriminate against imports and favour local producers. Froman said, “Local content requirements are not only contrary to WTO rules, but actually undermine our efforts to promote clean energy by requiring the use of more expensive and less efficient equipment.”