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US trade complaint on solar energy adds new wrinkle to troubled ties with India

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WASHINGTON - The United States is bringing its second trade complaint against India in a year over allegations that the Asian nation's promotion of solar energy discriminates against American manufacturers.

It's another bump in the road for a bilateral relationship that was shaken by a dispute over the arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat in New York who was accused of visa fraud and under-paying her maid. The diplomat was deported in January.

U.S. officials say the request for dispute settlement consultations with India at the World Trade Organization announced Monday has no bearing on the broader relationship that both governments want to improve.

The U.S. Trade Representative contends India violates WTO rules by requiring suppliers for its national solar power program use Indian-manufactured solar cells and modules.

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