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India and EU fail to agree on compensation for steel safeguard tariffs

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India and the EU have not been able to reach an agreement on an equivalent level of concessions and trade compensation that the EU can offer to the Indian government to mitigate the adverse impact of the extension of safeguard tariffs on certain steel imports from India.

In a notice to the WTO’s Council for Trade in Goods on Monday, the Indian government said it reserves the right to suspend equivalent concessional measures and other obligations.

  • Also read: Government to involve industry leaders in crucial consultations on draft Digital Competition Bill

The EU and India held talks on June 7 regarding the EU’s recently announced decision to extend existing safeguard measures on steel imports for a further two years beyond the current expiration date of June 30, 2024. The measures will hit imports from many countries, including India.

“India has invited the European Union to submit a proposal that would maintain substantially equivalent levels of concessions and other obligations and adequate trade compensation to mitigate the adverse effects of the proposed measures. India and the European Union have been unable to reach an agreement,” the Indian notification said.

Safety measure

India therefore reserves its rights under the WTO agreements, including the right to suspend substantially equivalent concessions and other obligations under the Safeguards Agreement, it added.

India and other member states opposed the extension, arguing that the safeguard measures, which are essentially tariff increases imposed when steel imports exceed a certain threshold, have already been found by the Dispute Settlement Panel to violate WTO rules and should therefore be terminated.

  • Also read: Government to involve industry leaders in crucial consultations on draft Digital Competition Bill

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