US, India fail to reach agreement

The U.S. government last week locked horns with India over the domestic content requirements of the latter’s National Solar Mission at the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a report in Indian newspaper The Hindu Business Line.

A report on Monday in the newspaper, quoting an Indian government official, stated the U.S. and India failed to reach an agreement during a formal consultation over the issue.

The U.S. lodged a complaint in early 2013 after India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy stipulated 950 MW of solar projects tendered under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) must use modules manufactured in India.

Although a recent 750 MW batch of projects watered down that requirement to half of the projects tendered, it expanded the scope of the type of modules included to encompass the thin film technology typical of U.S. module manufacturers, prompting the U.S. to complain again last month.

The report in the Hindu Business Line claimed U.S. officials would determine how much its suppliers would be affected in the forthcoming second batch of phase 2 of the JNNSM before deciding whether to file a full-blown dispute panel with India at the WTO.

Details of phase 2, batch 2 of the national solar program will be released following India’s general election, which gets under way on Monday in five of Assam’s 14 constituencies and one of Tripura’s two voting areas and is due to finish on May 12.