U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday that the United States would challenge Indian government export subsidies because they hurt American workers and manufacturers.
Lighthizer said he had requested “dispute settlement consultations” with the Indian government at the World Trade Organization because the subsidies allow India to sell goods at lower prices.
He said his office “will continue to hold our trading partners accountable by vigorously enforcing U.S. rights under our trade agreements and by promoting fair and reciprocal trade through all available tools, including the WTO.”
The announcement is the latest step in President Donald Trump’s trade offensive.The White House has announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as well as on imports of solar panels and washing machines.
Lighthizer’s office said India offers benefits valued at $7 billion annually to domestic exporters, such as duty, tax and fee exemptions. Producers of steel, information technology and textiles are among the recipients.
Consultations are the first step in WTO’s dispute settlement process, but Trump has said he does not favor resorting to dispute resolutions at the WTO, where he contends the United States is at a disadvantage.
The administration has instead concentrated efforts on tariffs and remedies as allowed under domestic U.S. law.