New Delhi: India has expressed its willingness join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute consultation requested by Russia as a third party against the US decision to impose high duties on certain steel and aluminium imports.

In a communication to the WTO, India has stated that it has substantial trade interests in the sector.

In May, India dragged the US to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of these import duties.

“India hereby notifies its desire to join consultations requested by the government of the Russian Federation... concerning the measures that the US introduced to adjust imports of steel and aluminium into the US, including imposing additional ad valorem import duties on certain steel and aluminium products and exempting certain WTO members from these measures," the WTO said.

To understand the developments on the issue, India is joining the dispute cases on the subject as a third party member. India has also stated that it is a significant exporter of steel and aluminium products to the US. In 2017, India was the 10th largest exporter of steel to America, according to data published by the US Department of Commerce.

“As a result of this substantial trade interest, India respectfully requests that it be permitted to join consultations in this dispute," it said.

Seeking consultation under the aegis of the WTO is the first step of the dispute settlement process. If the two nations are not able to reach a mutually agreed solution through consultation, the complainant may request for a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter.

Trump has imposed 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminium imports. India’s exports steel and aluminium products to America worth $1.5 billion every year.

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India has also expressed its willingness join as a third party the WTO dispute consultation requested by Norway.

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