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New Delhi
August 21, 2019
Observer Dawn
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Govt confident of ‘working together’ with US despite Trump move on GSP trade

Days after new dispensation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to the office and as came the US decision to terminate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade program, the government said on Saturday that its requests to find a mutually acceptable way forward was not accepted by the US.
However, the Union Commerce Ministry statement said: “We are confident that the two nations will continue to work together intensively for further growing these ties in a mutually beneficial manner.
It further said – ”India as part of our bilateral trade discussions, had offered resolution on significant US requests in an effort to find a mutually acceptable way forward. It is unfortunate that this did not find acceptance by the US”.
The US has with effect from June 5, 2019, announced the withdrawal of India’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits. These are unilateral, non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory benefits extended by some developed countries to developing countries.
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,” it said.
Under the GSP program, nearly 2,000 products including auto components and textile materials can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.
India was the largest beneficiary of the program in 2017 with USD 5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy said – “The US strikes against the re-elected Namo Govt by withdrawing the special trade status. How should we respond? It depends on how we regard the US. With the US there is no free lunch”.
This matter is going to be crucial for setting the tone for Indo-US relations, he maintained.
He also wrote: “I have an indication that the Chinese are also going to get tough unless we handle this cleverly and now. The US action was known as far back as December 2018 but MEA and NSA especially latter which had hegemony on US and China matters had been relaxed perhaps because of Model Code”.

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