Trump moves to end special trade treatment for India: reports

Published March 5, 2019
India's duty on US goods cause of trade treatment's abolition; 60 days until plan can be implemented. — AFP/File
India's duty on US goods cause of trade treatment's abolition; 60 days until plan can be implemented. — AFP/File

US President Donald Trump has announced plans to end special trade treatment for India, while accusing the country of unfairly shutting out US businesses, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Trump wrote a letter to the US Congress on Monday signalling his intent to remove India from the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) — a programme that provides developing countries an easy access to the US market.

The GSP lowers duties on exports to the United States for 121 developing countries. According to CNN, India was the biggest beneficiary of the program in 2017.

Indian government "has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India," CNN quoted the letter as saying.

The letter to Congress begins a 60-day period before Trump can take action, said CNN, quoting a statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Indian Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan has said that the withdrawal of the GSP will not significantly impact India's exports to the US.

According to Times of India (ToI), the commerce secretary said: "India exports goods worth $5.6 billion under the GSP and the duty benefit is only $190 million annually."

According to ToI, at least 1,900 Indian products from various sectors, including chemicals and engineering, get duty free access to the US market under the GSP.

The US move comes ahead of the Indian general election, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks reelection.

Trump has previously spoken up against Indian duty on US goods.

Last month, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross pulled out of a trip to India. According to news reports at the time, Ross had called off his visit because of bad weather at home.

Opinion

Editorial

Wheat price crash
Updated 20 May, 2024

Wheat price crash

What the government has done to Punjab’s smallholder wheat growers by staying out of the market amid crashing prices is deplorable.
Afghan corruption
20 May, 2024

Afghan corruption

AMONGST the reasons that the Afghan Taliban marched into Kabul in August 2021 without any resistance to speak of ...
Volleyball triumph
20 May, 2024

Volleyball triumph

IN the last week, while Pakistan’s cricket team savoured a come-from-behind T20 series victory against Ireland,...
Border clashes
19 May, 2024

Border clashes

THE Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier has witnessed another series of flare-ups, this time in the Kurram tribal district...
Penalising the dutiful
19 May, 2024

Penalising the dutiful

DOES the government feel no remorse in burdening honest citizens with the cost of its own ineptitude? With the ...
Students in Kyrgyzstan
Updated 19 May, 2024

Students in Kyrgyzstan

The govt ought to take a direct approach comprising convincing communication with the students and Kyrgyz authorities.