New Delhi: Reacting to US’ decision to terminate the preferential trade status given to it, India on Tuesday said it was working on finding a solution.
Soon after reports of the US decision came out, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said the US decision to end India’s participation in the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) “will not have any significant impact on our $5.6 billion exports to the US”. The duty benefit is only $190 million annually, he added.
On US President Donald Trump’s observation that “India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India,” Wadhawan said, “We were successful in formulating a reasonable package which addressed all concerns of US but there were additional requests which could not be accommodated.”
He added that India’s concerns were regarding the affordability of medical devices and fair pricing. “Our approach was very balanced we didn’t compromise our public benefit,” he said. That the proposal wasn’t feasible for the US was another matter, he said, and that talks on various issues would continue.
As far as retaliatory tariffs on the US were concerned, Wadhawan said i was a separate issue and the two countries had “deep-rooted relations”.
The US Trade Representative’s Office has said that removing India from the GSP programme would not take effect for at least 60 days after notifications to Congress and India, and it will be enacted by a presidential proclamation.
As many as 1,900 Indian products from sectors such as chemicals and engineering get duty free access to the US market under the GSP, introduced in 1976.
US’ trade preference programme, GSP, aims to promote economic development in beneficiary countries by removing duties on products. Turkey is one of 120 countries that participate in the GSP, the oldest and largest US trade preference programme.