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4 - Learning from the India–EC GSP dispute: the issues and the process

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2011

Gregory C. Shaffer
Affiliation:
University of Minnesota
Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz
Affiliation:
ICTSD, Geneva, Switzerland
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Summary

Introduction

Since the inception of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, India has initiated cases against other countries eighteen times and has been complained against twenty times before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), as of the end of 2009. India is therefore one of the most frequent developing country users of the WTO dispute settlement system. This chapter looks at the case where India contested the tariff concessions granted by the European Communities (EC) to twelve developing countries under its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme (EC – GSP case) to highlight some critical dimensions relating to India's use of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. Some of the highlighted issues relate to the economic and political factors behind India's decision to challenge the EC, the participation of the industry and private sector stakeholders in India in the case, and measures that the Indian government can take to increase and make stakeholders' participation more effective. The EC – GSP case is chosen to demonstrate these issues as it has significant long-term implications for the trading interests of developing countries, including India's.

On 10 December 2001, the EC launched its new GSP scheme through Council Regulation (EC) No. 2501/2001. The regulation provided for five different preferential tariff preferences, and India was especially concerned with three of them: tariff preferences granted respectively under the special arrangements as reward for some countries' efforts to combat drug production and trafficking (the Drug Arrangements); under the special arrangements for the protection of labour rights (the Labour Arrangements); and under the special arrangements for the protection of the environment (the Environment Arrangements).

Type
Chapter
Information
Dispute Settlement at the WTO
The Developing Country Experience
, pp. 174 - 209
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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References

Dhar, Biswajit and Murali, Kallummal. ‘Trade Policy off the Hook: The Making of Indian Trade Policy Since the Uruguay Round’, in Halle, Mark and Robert, Wolfe (eds.), Process Matters: Sustainable Development and Domestic Trade Transparency. Winnipeg, Canada: IISD, 2005, pp. 183–240.Google Scholar
Howse, Robert. ‘India's WTO Challenge to Drug Enforcement Conditions in the European Community Generalized System of Preferences: A Little Known Case with Major Repercussions for “Political” Conditionality in US Trade Policy’, Chicago Journal of International Law 4 (2003): 385–405.Google Scholar
Howse, Robert. ‘The Death of the GSP? The Panel Ruling in the India-EC Dispute over Preferences for Drug Enforcement’, Bridges Monthly Digest, year 8, no. 1, p. 7, available at www.ictsd.net/downloads/bridges/BRIDGES8-1.pdf.
Howse, Robert. ‘Appellate Body Ruling Saves the GSP, at Least for Now’, Bridges Monthly Digest, year 8, no. 4, p. 5, available at www.ictsd.net/downloads/bridges/BRIDGES8-4.pdf.
Nordas, Hidlegunn Kyvik. ‘The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Women's Job Opportunities and Earnings in Developing Countries’, Trade Policy Review 2 (2003): 221–31.Google Scholar
Nordas, Hidlegunn Kyvik. ‘The Global Textile and Clothing Industry Post the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing’, WTO Discussion Paper No. 5. Geneva, Switzerland: World Trade Organization, 2004.Google Scholar
Panagariya, Arvind. ‘EU Preferential Trade Policies and Developing Countries’, unpublished paper, 2002, available at www.columbia.edu/~ap2231/Policy%20Papers/Mathew-WE.pdf.
Raghavan, Chakravarthi. ‘A Fresh Trade Insecurity at WTO’, The Hindu, 3 May 2004, available at www.thehindu.com/thehindu/biz/2004/05/03/stories/2004050300471800.htm.
Reinert, Kenneth A. ‘Give Us Virtue, But Not Yet: Safeguard Actions Under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing’, The World Economy 23 (2000): 22–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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