India has appealed a ruling by the World Trade Organization’s Trade Dispute Settlement Panel on domestic sugar subsidies, saying the panel committed “certain errors of law” in its report, the WTO said on Tuesday.
The appeal has been lodged by India with the WTO Appellate Body, the final body for such trade disputes.
“India has notified the Dispute Settlement Body of its decision to appeal the panel reports in the cases brought by Brazil, Australia and Guatemala in ‘India – Actions related to sugar and sugar cane,'” the statement said. WTO said in a statement.
It said that, given the continuing lack of agreement among WTO members on how to fill Appellate Body vacancies, there is currently no Appellate Body division available to hear the appeal.
The panel, in its ruling of December 14, 2021, recommended India to withdraw its alleged banned subsidies under the Production Aid, Buffer Stock, Marketing and Transportation Schemes within 120 days of the adoption of this report.
The WTO panel ruled in favor of Brazil, Australia and Guatemala in their trade dispute against India over New Delhi’s sugar subsidies, declaring that the aid measures violate WTO trade rules.
In his comments to the Appellate Body India appeal and the authority requested “the findings, conclusions, decisions and recommendations to the panel reverse, modify or moot and without explaining legal”, in relation to certain “errors law and legal interpretations in the panel report. “
India has requested a review of the panel’s finding that the scheme to provide assistance to sugar mills for expenditure on marketing costs, including handling, upgrading and other processing costs and costs of international and internal transportation and freight costs for the export of sugar for the 2019-20 sugar season (MAEQ schedule), falls within its frame of reference.
“The panel makes a grave mistake in holding that the MAEQ scheme is of the same essence as other alleged export subsidies mentioned in the complainants’ requests to set up a panel. India believes that the panel has a few broad similarities, while highlighting the differences between MAEQ and the other alleged export subsidy measures,” said a statement from India distributed to members.
New Delhi has also said the panel made a mistake in finding that India’s fair and rewarding price and the price advised by the state constitute market price support under the WTO’s agricultural agreement.
In 2019, Brazil, Australia and Guatemala dragged India into the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism, alleging that New Delhi’s domestic support measures to sugar cane and sugar producers and export subsidies violate global trade rules, including several WTO provisions. Agreement on Agriculture, Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT).