India’s status as a beneficiary under GSP could be restored by the US


After a long time of unpleasant news for Indian exporters, there is something they might be excited to look forward to.

India may soon again export select goods to the US markets without a levy of import duty, as the Donald Trump administration is likely to restore India’s trade preference under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP).

The US is mulling over restoring India’s beneficiary status on receiving a counterbalancing proposal from New Delhi, PTI reported citing a top Trump administration official.

In June 2019, the Donald Trump government terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the GSP trade program, blaming India for not providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets.

The United States US is currently negotiating with India for it, he added. “We’re in negotiations with India, we took away their GSP, and we’re in the process of restoring it if we can get an adequate counterbalancing proposal from them,” US Trade Representative Robert, Lighthizer told members of the Senate Finance Committee.

“Till now, we haven’t done that. But this is something that we’re actively negotiating right now,” Lighthizer said, responding to a question from Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington State.

This move comes after India imposing a high retaliatory tariff on imports from the US.

Senator Cantwell underlined that India has a 70 percent tariff on apples. Montana Senator Steve Daines also said that he is concerned over high import tariffs on pulses by India, which is the largest consumer of pulses and an important market for Montana farmers.

Lighthizer added that India’s regular tariffs are bad and the country’s retaliatory tariffs are even worse, according to PTI.

Lighthizer further added that negotiations with India are taking longer than expected as India is reluctant to keep high tariffs while the US is waiting for a fair deal.

We have a big negotiation with India and potentially even moving to an FTA at some point if we can ever make any headway, and that’s Asia. We have a lot of ongoing discussions. We call them TIFAs, trade and investment discussion forums, or negotiating forums with most of the countries throughout that area, he said.

Meanwhile, during the Namaste Trump event organized in February this year, President Donald Trump had mentioned that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were set to seal one of the biggest trade deals.

He had also highlighted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a tough negotiator and they were in the early stages of discussions.

As the economy is in a slump for both India and the US, this long-awaited deal could the bright light the exporters were hoping for and could spark a much-needed economic activity on both sides.