The United States has filed a case at the World Trade Organization challenging domestic content requirements for India's national solar programme as a violation of global trade rules, U.S. trade officials said on Wednesday.
"Unfortunately, India's discriminatory policies in its national solar program detract from that successful cooperation, raise the cost of clean energy, and undermine progress toward our shared objective," he said.
The case targets India's national solar policy, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).
That program, launched in 2010, appears to discriminate against U.S. solar equipment by requiring solar energy producers to use Indian-manufactured solar cells and modules and by offering subsidies to those developers for using domestic equipment instead of imports, the U.S. trade office said.
The United States said its request for consultations with India at the WTO follows years of raising the issue with India in bilateral forums.
Under WTO rules, the United States can request a WTO dispute settlement panel to hear its complaint if consultations with India do not resolve the dispute within 60 days.
The European Union and Japan have also criticized the JNNSM project in WTO committee discussions, challenging India to explain its assertion the project qualifies as government procurement and should therefore be exempted from certain WTO rules.
Cases based on such "local content" requirements have received a boost since the WTO ruled against Canada's requirements for a green energy scheme in Ontario province.
Canada filed an appeal on Wednesday in that case, which was brought by Japan and the EU.