By admin       2019-03-06

Citing New Delhi’s failure to assure the United States of offering ‘equitable and reasonable access’ to its markets in several sectors, US President Donald Trump on February 4 informed the US Congress of his intent to terminate the designation of India and Turkey as beneficiary developing countries under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) programme. In a letter to the US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump said he will continue to assess whether the Indian Government is providing such access to its markets as per the GSP eligibility criteria, according to a news agency report. In a separate letter, Trump also informed the Congress of his intent to terminate the GSP beneficiary designation of Turkey, primarily because the country’s economy had improved a lot in the last four-and-a-half decades. The US Trade Representative (USTR) issued a separate statement announcing the two decisions. “By statute, these changes may not take effect until at least 60 days after the notifications to Congress and the governments of India and Turkey, and will be enacted by a Presidential Proclamation,” the USTR said. Under the United States GSP programme, certain products can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress. The GSP criteria include, among others, respecting arbitral awards in favour of US citizens or corporations, combating child labour, respecting internationally recognised worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection and providing the US with equitable and reasonable market access. Countries can also be graduated from the GSP programme, depending on factors related to economic development. The US Administration had launched an eligibility review of India’s compliance with the GSP market access criterion in April 2018. “India has implemented a wide array of trade barriers that create serious negative effects on United States commerce. Despite intensive engagement, India has failed to take the necessary steps to meet the GSP criterion,” the USTR said. (DS)

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