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US President Donald Trump to 'end' India’s preferential trade treatment

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 5 March 2019, 8:40 IST

US President Donald Trump has planned to completely end India’s preferential trade treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), that could impact India’s exports if it happens. Along with India, the same could happen with Turkey as well, said reports on Tuesday. Notably, India exports worth $5.6 billion that enter the United States duty-free.

However, Trump who had vowed to reduce US trade deficits has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs.

“I am providing notice of my intent to terminate the designation of India as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program,” Trump said in a letter to congressional leaders.

Trump is reported to have said on Monday that New Delhi had “not assured” the United States that it would “provide equitable and reasonable access” to the markets of India.

"I am taking this step because, after the intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India," Trump said in a letter to congressional leaders.

According to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, the U.S. goods and services trade deficit with India was $27.3 billion in 2017. As India is the world’s largest beneficiary of the GSP program that ending its participation would be the strongest punitive action against India since Trump took office in 2017.

“I will continue to assess whether the Government of India is providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets, in accordance with the GSP eligibility criteria,” he said.

Also read: After India strikes Jaish, Iran threatens to take action against Pakistan-based terrorist groups

First published: 5 March 2019, 8:40 IST
 
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