US urges WTO to take action on trade disputes with EU and India

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The US is calling for the World Trade Organization to move quickly to enforce the rulings of two recent enforcement disputes with the EU and India.

The US has urged the World Trade Organization (WTO) to take swift action after it emerged victorious in two recent trade disputes with the EU and India.

Major US trade enforcement victories through the WTO's arbitration system have been secured in the past month, with the American government now pressing for rapid enforcement of these findings at a special meeting of the WTO's dispute settlement body.

On September 22nd, a WTO compliance panel found that the EU, Germany, France, the UK and Spain breached its rules by giving Airbus billions of dollars in subsidies that the US deemed to be competitively harmful to its export businesses. President Barack Obama's government requested the special meeting of the dispute settlement body to ensure the report takes effect as soon as possible.

The EU technically still has an opportunity to appeal the compliance panel's findings, but the US is urging the bloc to accept the report and press ahead with removing the offending subsidies straight away.

Meanwhile, the other dispute saw the WTO appellate body find in favor of the US after it challenged India's domestic content requirements for solar cells and modules, as they were deemed to breach international trade rules by prohibiting Indian solar power developers from using solar cells and modules made in the US on certain projects.

Since India enacted these requirements in 2011, American solar exports to India have fallen by more than 90 per cent, which is why the US is seeking the WTO to adopt the findings of its own report as soon as possible in order to level the playing field.

US trade representative Michael Froman said: "We will not tolerate our trading partners ignoring the rules at the expense of American workers and their families. We need to resolve these disputes once and for all.

"The Obama Administration is strongly committed to enforcing the rights of the US under our trade agreements and we will use every tool at our disposal to expedite these cases for the benefit of American businesses and workers."