India, EU fail to reach agreement on compensation for steel safeguard duties

India and the EU have failed to reach an agreement on equivalent level of concessions and trade compensation that the bloc could offer to New Delhi to mitigate the adverse effects of the extension of its safeguard duties on certain steel imports from the country.

New Delhi said that it reserved its rights to suspend equivalent concessions or other obligations, in a notification to the WTO Council for Trade in Goods on Monday.

The EU and India conducted consultations on June 7, on the EU’s recent announcement of its decision to extend the existing safeguard measures on some steel product imports beyond the current termination date of June 30, 2024 for another two years. The measures hurt imports from a number of countries including India.

“India requested the European Union to put forth its proposals for maintaining substantially equivalent level of concessions and other obligations and adequate trade compensation to mitigate the adverse effects of the proposed measure. India and the European Union were not able to reach an agreement,” India’s notification said.

Safeguard steps

India consequently reserves its rights under the WTO Agreement, including the right to suspend substantially equivalent concessions or other obligations under the Agreement on Safeguards, it added.

India and other members opposing the extension argue that the safeguard measures, which are basically tariff increases which kick in when steel imports exceeded a fixed quota, were already judged as being inconsistent with WTO rules by a dispute settlement panel and should therefore be terminated.

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