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India counters WTO ruling on steel safeguard duty

India has challenged a WTO dispute panel’s ruling against safeguard duties it had slapped on steel products from Japan. According to a senior commerce ministry official, India has notified the WTO’s dispute settlement body of its decision to appeal to the appellate body on certain issues of law and legal interpretations in the panel report. He said “India has challenged certain points of the panel’s ruling.”

The disputes arose after Japan largely won its case filed in December 2017 against India’s decision to impose safeguard duty on some iron and steel products. The ruling, delivered last month, had said India had broken the WTO rules and urged India to take corrective action.

Japan went to the WTO in 2016 to complain about the safeguard duty — an emergency tariff that WTO members can use to shield their industries against the threat of a sudden and damaging surge in imports. India set the duty at 20 per cent in the first year, tapering to 10 per cent in the final six months.
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