The Indian government on Tuesday downplayed the effect of the decision by the United States government to withdraw trade concessions granted to India under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), with Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan saying that the impact would amount to $190 million on total export amount under GSP of $5.6 billion to the US.
The US Trade Representative office on Tuesday morning (IST) said that it had decided to withdraw the GSP status for India and Turkey at the direction of US President Donald Trump following India’s “failure to provide the United States with assurances that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors”.
“The withdrawal of GSP benefits to India will have a minimal and moderate impact,” Mr. Wadhawan said at a press conference. “The total GSP benefits amount to about $190 million on overall exports (under GSP ) of $5.6 billion between the two countries.”
‘Additional requests not acceptable’
“We had worked out a meaningful package that covered the US’ concerns but they made additional requests which were not acceptable at this time,” he added. “The GSP system is envisaged as a non-reciprocal benefit to developing countries.”
Mr. Wadhawan added that India was still in talks with the US on the higher import duties that country charges on steel and aluminium, and said that India was still reviewing whether it would impose retaliatory tariffs or not. The government had in the middle of last year decided the list of items on which it would impose retaliatory tariffs, but has since then postponed the deadline of implementation six times. The latest deadline is April 1, 2019.
By US statute, the changes to the GSP status cannot take effect until at least 60 days after the notifications to the US Congress and the government of India, and will be enacted by a Presidential Proclamation.