Top US official casts doubt on reports of imminent India WTO solar deal

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Michael Froman said there was no end in sight to the dispute. Flickr: G20 Voice

Recent reports that the US and India are close to reaching an agreement in the trade dispute over India’s local content rules for solar equipment have been refuted by a top US trade official.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman told Reuters: “We're still engaged in conversations with them. It's too early to tell whether we're going to have an agreement or not.”

Earlier this month, a World Trade Organisation (WTO) spokesperson told PV Tech that the body had originally set a deadline for a ruling on the case for Wednesday.

This news came after it emerged that India had made a last minute proposal to shift its Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) rules for using domestically manufactured solar equipment in certain Indian projects away from the private sector and into the public sector.

Froman declined to comment on the WTO's intentions in the case. However, he confirmed that it was a US decision to delay the announcements – adding: “It's at our discretion whether the WTO extends or not, based on how the conversations are going.”

Indian government officials in New Delhi also told Reuters that the settlement talks were ongoing and they had few concerns about the announcement delays.

However, another senior Indian government official said that India wanted to balance the WTO rules against the sensitivities of its local manufacturers.

He said: “We can’t just depend on imports for setting up of planned 100,000MW of solar power generation. Local companies will have to get a share as we want to strengthen domestic manufacturing under Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India programme.”

In August last year, the WTO ruled against India’s DCR, but India appealed against the ruling, which gave it a reprieve from having to implement the changes for two years and it has continued to allocate capacity under the DCR.

Earlier this month Sourya Choudhary, assistant vice president of corporate strategy and business development at Indian integrated utility and solar manufacturer Essel Infraprojects, told PV Tech that India’s offer to move DCR content onto the public sector and government-based solar projects such as railways and defence could even be a “fillip” for domestic manufacturers. However other industry members have suggested this would not favour domestic manufacturers and goes against startups and small enterprise in India.

14 June 2022
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2022 & 2023. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
May 19, 2022
PV Tech speaks to Qcells CEO Justin Lee about the manufacturer's recent solar manufacturing capacity expansion, its use of TOPCon as a 'stepping stone' to future cell technologies and its new clean energy strategy.
May 16, 2022
The world added record amounts of renewable energy last year with 295GW of capacity deployed, up 6% year-on-year, despite supply chain constraints, project delays and high commodity prices, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which also expects nearly 320GW to be deployed this year.  
May 13, 2022
Retail giant IKEA has partnered with US residential solar installer SunPower to offer home PV solutions in the US.
May 11, 2022
Canadian module manufacturer Heliene has seen unprecedented demand for its modules following the US Department of Commerce’s (DOC) decision to investigate alleged anti-dumping and circumvention (AD/CVD) by solar manufacturers in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia, which continues to spread chaos across the US solar sector.
May 11, 2022
solar tracker manufacturer FTC Solar has withdrawn its guidance for the year and warned of material uncertainties caused by the US AD/CVD investigation.
PV Tech Premium
May 11, 2022
PV Tech Premium speaks with BIPV company SunStyle about their expansion into the US market and how they believe the time is right for the technology in the US.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA