Unfortunate move, says govt as US President Donald Trump ends preferential trade status for India

June 1, 2019

Soon after US President Donald Trump declared that his administration will terminate preferential tariffs applicable to $5.6 billion worth Indian exports from June 5, India’s commerce ministry has called the development unfortunate.

“India had offered resolution on significant US requests to find a mutually acceptable way forward. Unfortunate that this didn’t find acceptance by the US,” the statement said.

The Commerce Ministry’s statement came soon after Trump made his decision clear on Saturday.

“India, like the US and other nations shall always uphold national interest in these matters. We have significant development imperatives and concerns and our people also aspire for better standards of living. This will remain the guiding factor in the government’s approach,” the release added.

Explaining that such issues get resolved mutually, it said: “We view this as part of this regular process and will continue to build our strong ties with the US, both economic and people-to-people.”

According to a White House proclamation, the trade preference programme will be terminated from June 5, 2019. With the development, India will no longer be designated as the beneficiary developing country under the key GSP trade programme.

The programme allows emerging countries to export goods to the United States without paying duties.

The US president had initially announced in March to remove India from the decades-old Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme as retaliation to “lack of access” to India’s markets.

“I have determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets,” Trump said in a statement.

Last Friday, a senior state department official had also confirmed the development by saying that suspension of US trade preference programme with India is a “done deal”.

“We believe if India is prepared to address policies, including data localization, e-commerce measures that served to stifle international investment for top-tier companies, that we can continue to make significant progress moving forward,” the official added.

It is worth mentioning that India is the biggest beneficiaries under the GSP programme, which allows preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion from India.

Source : Indiatoday

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