Trump to stop Indian duty-free exports to United States

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Washington – US President Donald Trump looked set to open a new front in his trade wars today with a plan to end preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for $5.6 billion worth of the country’s exports to the United States.

India does not plan to impose retaliatory tariffs on US goods, top trade official Anup Wadhawan said.

Trump, who has vowed to cut US trade deficits, has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs, and US trade officials said scrapping the concessions would take at least 60 days after notifications to Congress and India.

“I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the United States and the government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India,” Trump said in a letter to congressional leaders.

Anup Wadhawan said the withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for Indian products would have limited impact. The two countries had been working on a trade package to address each other’s concerns, he said.

India’s exports of farm, marine and handicraft products to the United States could be hit. “We fear that our labour-intensive exports of agriculture, marine and handicraft products to the US would be hit hard,” Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, told Reuters.

The US goods and services trade deficit with India was $27.3 billion in 2017, the US Trade Representative’s Office said. — NDTV

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