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US lawmakers urge Trump to reinstate GSP status to India
International

US lawmakers urge Trump to reinstate GSP status to India

Agency News

Washington, Sep 18: Amid progress in parleys between India and the US on trade issues, over 40 American lawmakers have urged the Trump administration to reinstate India as a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status which will reduce prices of India-made goods in the US.

The United States had suspended India from the list of beneficiaries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) on June 5, 2019.Generalized System of Preferences is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

The House members wrote a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer dated Tuesday which is signed by a group of lawmakers.The lawmakers said that after the termination of GSP to India the costs for their constituents are growing every day. Latest data by the Coalition for GSP shows that India losing the trade preferential status meant that American companies lost about USD 30 million in July.''We have a strong desire to see GSP eligibility for India reinstated,'' the letter stated.

''An 'early harvest' approach would ensure that long-sought market access gains for US industries are not held up by negotiations over remaining issues, thereby providing swift relief for both American exporters and importers,'' the Congressman stressed. India has been the largest beneficiary of the GSP programme, which allows certain imports from 120 countries to enter the United States at zero tariff.India sold an estimated USD 6.3 billion worth of goods to the US under this programme in 2018.

The GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

Observing that the United States has legitimate concerns against India, the lawmakers wrote those policies negatively affect US companies trying to access its market, including a number of longstanding issues that have been subject to intergovernmental talks for years.

''As you know, several US industries filed petitions under GSP’s market access criterion, which were accepted for review in April 2018. Ultimately, failure to make sufficient progress on the issues led to termination of India’s GSP eligibility on June 5, 2019,'' they said.

Meanwhile, progress is being made in the negotiations between India and the United States to finalise an early trade pact.

An improved trade ties with India - which is likely to be emphasised yet again in next few days especially during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US - will help Trump administration at a time when it is engaged in trade related confrontation with China. (UNI)