DS: United States — Certain Measures Relating to the Renewable Energy Sector

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.


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Summary of the dispute to date

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Complaint by India

On 9 September 2016, India requested consultations with the United States regarding certain measures of the United States relating to domestic content requirements and subsidies instituted by the governments of the states of Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota, in the energy sector.

India claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles III:4, XVI:1 and XVI:4 of the GATT 1994;
  • Article 2.1 of the TRIMS Agreement; and
  • Articles 3.1(b), 3.2, 5(a), 5(c), 6.3(a), 6.3(c) and 25 of the SCM Agreement.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 17 January 2017, India requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 20 February 2017, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

At its meeting on 21 March 2017, the DSB established a panel. Brazil, China, the European Union, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Norway, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Turkey reserved their third-party rights.

On 11 April 2018, India requested the Director-General to compose the panel. On 24 April 2018, the Director-General composed the panel.

On 11 October 2018, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that, due to complexity of the dispute, the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties in the second quarter of 2019. The Chair of the panel explained that the report would be available to the public once it was circulated to the Members in all three official languages, and that the date of circulation depended on completion of translation.

On 27 June 2019, the panel report was circulated to Members.

The Panel found that all of the measures at issue are inconsistent with Article III:4 of the GATT 1994 because they provide an advantage for the use of domestic products, which amounts to less favourable treatment for like imported products.

The Panel exercised judicial economy on India's claims under Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the TRIMS Agreement and Articles 3.1(b) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement. 

On 15 August 2019, the United States notified the DSB of its decision to appeal to the Appellate Body certain issues of law and legal interpretations in the panel report. On 20 August 2019, India notified the DSB of its decision to cross-appeal.

On 14 October 2019, the Chair of the Appellate Body informed the DSB that regrettably the Appellate Body would not be able to circulate a report in this case within the required 90 days. The Chair of the Appellate Body noted that there was a queue of appeals pending, as was well known, and the Appellate Body was considering them in the order in which they were appealed.



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