Sunday, December 14, 2014

WTO Settles Trade Dispute Between India And US Regarding Certain Steel Products

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has recently settled a trade dispute between India and United States that partially covered the interests of both countries. The dispute at WTO pertained to imposition of countervailing measures on certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India.

The final report of the Appellate Body at WTO has been released on 8th December 2014. Our readers and other stakeholders can read the document titled United States – Countervailing Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India – AB-2014-7 -Report of the Appellate Body (PDF) for more details. A summary of the same has also been made available by IPR Helpdesk of Perry4Law and PTLB as WTO Summary of the Dispute Settlement of Dispute No DS436 between India and US (PDF).

This decision is a mixed one where India prevailed over U.S. on few issues while U.S. prevailed over India on others. Nevertheless it is a big relief for Indian steel exporters who were facing uncertainties till now.

US has been showing its discomfort with the Indian IP regime whereas India has been steadily maintaining that its IP laws are in strict conformity with India’s international obligations under the WTO and TRIPS Agreement.

Nevertheless, India has decided to formulate the national IPR policy of India to alleviate the fears of US and other countries. We at Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) believe that the proposed IPR policy of India must also include technology aspects as well to be more effective.

These recent developments have resulted in the acceptance of India position regarding its international IP protection obligations to some extent. Even US has also softened its stand in this regard and this issue may not be discussed during the US President Obama’s visit to India.