Dispute Settlement in the WTO and the Least Developed Countries: the Case of India's Anti-Dumping Duties on Lead Acid Battery Import from Bangladesh

Research
Date period
26 January 2006

SummarySince the inception of the WTO in 1995, India has initiated cases against other countries 16 times and has been complained against 17 times in the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). India can therefore be considered as one of the most frequent developing country users of the WTO dispute settlement system. This paper looks at the case where India contested the tariff concessions granted by the members of 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.