America president Donald Trump to End Preferential Trade Status for India on June 5 Despite Plea by US Lawmakers

International

New Delhi: India is the biggest beneficiary of the GSP, which allows preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion from the South Asian nation.

President Donald Trump said on Friday that the United States would end its preferential trade treatment for India on June 5. Trump had announced his intention to remove India from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program in early March.

“I have determined that India has not assured the US that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, 2019,” Trump said in a proclamation on Friday, ignoring the plea made by several top American lawmakers as it will cost American businesses over USD 300 million in additional tariffs every year.

On March 4, Trump announced that the US intends to terminate India’s designations as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme. The 60-day notice period ended on May 3.

The Trump administration has prioritised working with the Government of India to ensure that US companies have a level-playing field, a senior State Department official told reporters on Thursday, hours after Narendra Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second time following his spectacular electoral victory in the general elections.

Under the GSP programme, nearly 2,000 products including auto components and textile materials can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.

India was the largest beneficiary of the programme in 2017 with USD 5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status and Turkey the fifth largest with USD 1.7 billion in covered imports, according to a Congressional Research Service report issued in January.

Meanwhile, the dow fell more than 350 points after Trump threatened new tariffs on Mexico. The European markets also closed in the red after Trump stoked recession fears.

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