By admin       2019-06-04

The US announcement, though not unexpected, seemingly left the new Indian Government stupefied. In a statement issued on June 1, the Indian ministry of commerce and industry said: “We are confident that the two nations will continue to work together intensively for further growing these ties in a mutually beneficial manner.” An earlier version of the statement had used the words “it is hoped” instead of “we are confident.” It was withdrawn and replaced later.Terming the decision “unfortunate,” the ministry added: “India, like the US and other nations, shall always uphold its national interest in these matters. We have significant development imperatives and concerns and our people also aspire for better standards of living. This will remain the guiding factor in the government’s approach.”US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross had assured India that benefits won't be cut off until India's elections are over, and that India not put retaliatory tariffs on the US that have long been announced and postponed eight times since June last year.The overall response of the Indian government so far has been a mix of optimism and foreign policy balance. India has once again extended the deadline to impose retaliatory tariffs on 29 American goods to June 16. India also feels that GSP benefits are “unilateral and non-reciprocal in nature extended to developing countries,” and that they should not be used for advancing US trade interests and non-discriminatory benefits.As India is yet to officially declare whether it will seek GSP restoration, reports quoting government officials have indicated the country needs to balance national interests with US expectations without any compromise. The two sides are said to be interacting regularly over telephone and video conference, and a meeting in the near future remains a possibility.The Indian commerce ministry is said to be exploring means to support sectors hit most by the US decision. An unnamed government official told a top business daily that the loss suffered by India due to the decision will not be huge, but specific sectors that will take a hit need some hand-holding. New commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal has been holding meetings with officials and is likely to discuss ways in which the export sector could be assisted following the US decision.The decision, however, may not mean the end of GSP benefits, according to anonymous government officials quoted in another newspaper report, who feel that the US has restored the benefits in the past to countries like Argentina, Liberia and Myanmar after withdrawing those

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