A Geneva-based trade official said yesterday that the move was an expected, but not mandatory, step that buys Washington time to flesh out its differences with Beijing.
The consultations however don't fall under the World Trade Organisation's (WTO's) dispute settlement system.
The WTO forecast 4.4 percent growth in trade volume this year and a more moderate four percent expansion in 2019.
New Delhi will point out that the quantum of duty raised is not WTO-compliant as it is way beyond its ‘bound rate’, which acts as ceiling on tariffs
Rich nations want WTO members to discuss and agree on new issues such as labour, e-commerce, environment and sustainable goods and government procurement.
The consultations would be held under the aegis of World Trade Organization's (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism.
The US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, filed a request for consultations with China at the WTO to address Beijing's discriminatory technology licensing requirements
Trade wars typically stem from a country's protectionist measures, causing the country's trade partners to retaliate. The WTO has warned against tit-for-tat measures.
Tariffs and a potential WTO case are certainly on the table, a USTR official said.
The two-day conference, which concluded today, had representations from 53 World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries, including the US, China, and the EU.
Delegates from as many as 52 countries, including the US and China, are participating in the informal meeting of the WTO called by India amidst increasing protectionism in global trade.
"Had a wonderful meeting with Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the WTO" the PM tweeted and posted a picture with him.
Amid rising protectionism among developed countries, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) urged the Indian government to utilise the meeting to raise systemic and substantive issues, which assume great significance for the country.
On March 9, President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium which he said were necessary to boost the US industry suffering from "unfair" business practices
India has invited trade ministers of over 50 nations including the US, China and Pakistan to discuss key issues related with areas like agriculture and services.
In 2016, New Delhi had lost a case against the US at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) after the global trade body stated that power purchase agreements signed by the Indian government with solar firms for its National Solar Mission did not meet international trade norms.
It was also felt that the WTO is facing significant challenges and fundamental reflections are required at the political level on major issues of divergence.
Prabhu had close to 100 meetings with CEOs, bankers, funds, investors, ministers, trade organisations, entrepreneurs and think-tanks here in Davos on the sidelines of its annual meeting.
Last month the United States triggered a new round of litigation at the WTO, arguing that India had failed to abide by a ruling that it had illegally discriminated against foreign suppliers of solar cells and modules.
A mini-ministerial meeting of trade ministers of some developed and developing countries is proposed to be hosted by India in February.
The 11th WTO meet collapsed last week in Buenos Aires, ending without any ministerial declaration or any substantive outcome with the US going back on its commitment to find a permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue, leaving India and other developing nations disappointed.
The proposed meeting would be in the the backdrop of developed nations forming groupings to prepare ground for pushing investment facilitation, preparing rules for e- commerce, promoting gender equality and reducing subsidy on fisheries with a view to curbing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
As the US refused to engage, the 164-member World Trade Organisation (WTO) failed to reach a common ground for resolving the food security issue, a demand raised prominently by India.
Prabhu met Lighthizer at the initiative of Argentinean minister Susana Malcorra, who is also the chair of the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) 11th Ministerial Conference, official sources said.
India's attempts to find a permanent solution to the food stockpile issue at the 11th edition of the ministerial conference (MC11), has hit a roadblock as the US refused to engage, threatening a successful conclusion of the four-day conference.