India proposes retaliatory measures against UK extension of safeguard duties on steel imports

India has offered retaliatory measures if no agreement is reached on the UK’s imposition of safeguard duties and quotas on certain imports of steel products from the country, a government official has said quoting the formal complaint lodged by India with the WTO.

India has proposed the imposition of retaliatory duties on imports of products from the United Kingdom to the tune of $250 million, equivalent to the duties to be levied by the United Kingdom on imports of products steel from India.

India has officially lodged a WTO complaint against the UK extending safeguard duties and quota restrictions on steel imports from India until 2024, claiming the extension is in breach of the WTO Agreement on Safeguards.

In its submission to the WTO, India argued that the safeguard measures resulted in a 219,000 metric ton drop in steel exports to the UK, for which the latter collected duties of 247 .7 million.

“If no agreement is reached on compensation within 30 days of consultations, India reserves the right to suspend concessions or other obligations substantially equivalent to the adverse effects of measures under…the Agreement on Safeguards, UK Trade, and any other rights available under the GATT 1994 and the Agreement on Safeguards,” India’s submission to the WTO said.

It has emerged that although the UK has rejected India’s claims that the extension of safeguard duties breaches WTO standards, it has agreed to hold meetings on compensation options.

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