India to take up U.S. tariffs bilaterally

US President Donald Trump showing his signature on Section 232 proclamations on steel and aluminium imports on 8 March

India said it could agree to discussing new issues only if they were trade related and it could be convinced that the rules being negotiated will be beneficial for developing countries. "WTO has become even more important considering the recent trends that we have been facing in which countries are trying to unilaterally take steps which in long term will harm everybody".

He was speaking at an industry interaction here organised by CII.

"Without an impartial and effective path for resolving disputes you would very quickly see members take matters into their own hands leading to a unsafe cycle of retaliation and counter-retaliation. What I hear is that USA said that the system is important". "What I have heard is U.S. says that the system is important and if it was not existent, it would have to be invented", Azevedo said post holding informal talks with as many as 23 nations' ministerial representatives amidst the backdrop of ongoing global trade disputes.

Recently, President Donald Trump announced 25% tariff on USA imports of steel and 10% on aluminum, following which various other countries announced trade restrictive measures.

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Among the "institutional" issues India has raised are attempts being made to "curtail the development dimension of trade and trade rules" in the WTO as part of the Doha Round. Special treatment allows longer time frames to such nations than their developed counterparts to implement a particular trade agenda, among other facilities. India might initiate discussions on liberalisation of service trade, concerns over protectionism and agricultural stocking.

Prabhu said that India will raise the issue with the United States, although the country is not the largest exporter of steel and aluminium to the US.

And the WTO itself has warned the situation is of "grave concern" with the need for an urgent solution. Analysts have warned that failure to resolve the deadlock could render the Appellate Body meaningfully non-functional by as early as December 2019. The US has repeatedly blocked a selection process to fill three vacancies at the highest adjudication entity for trade disputes at the WTO, the Appellate Body.

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