Washington: In what could impact India’s exports, $5.6 billion worth of it enters the United States duty-free, the latter has said it may end India’s preferential trade treatment under a program. The same could happen with Turkey as well, said reports on Tuesday.
At the direction of President Donald Trump, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that US intends to terminate India & Turkey’s designations as Beneficiary Developing Countries under Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
In a letter to congressional leaders, Trump is reported to have said on Monday, “I am providing notice of my intent to terminate the designation of India as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP program.”
He said he was taking the decision because, after talks with India, he felt “India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India.”
Trump has repeatedly criticised India’s high tariffs.
India is the largest beneficiary of the GSP programme and ending its participation would be the strongest punitive action against India since 2017, when Trump took office.
“I will continue to assess whether the Government of India is providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets, in accordance with the GSP eligibility criteria,” Trump is reported to have said.
Meanwhile, the relationship with Turkey will be changed as well. The United States intends to end Turkey’s preferential trade treatment under the programme that allowed some exports to enter the country duty-free.
Turkey is not eligible to participate in the Generalized System of Preferences programme because it “is sufficiently economically developed,” the US Treasury said in a news release.
It said in August it was reviewing Turkey’s eligibility in the program after Ankara imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods in response to American steel and aluminium tariffs.
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.
Meanwhile, reacting to the US decision, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said, “Our assessment is that this will not have any significant impact on our 5.6 billion dollar exports to the US.”
The Government of India has to be conscious of our developmental and public welfare interests. Our effort was to balance the affordable prices of the medical devices without compromising on public welfare. We have very deep-rooted ties with the USA. All the issues in the trade domain are on the table for discussion. We will not compromise on the affordability of medical devices.”