The U.S. should not terminate the GSP programme with India after the expiry of the 60-day notice period on Friday, a group of 25 influential American lawmakers urged the U.S. Trade Representative, warning that companies seeking to expand their exports to India could be hit.
The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest U.S. trade preference programme designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.
On March 4, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. intended to terminate India’s designations as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme. The 60-day notice period ends on May 3.
On the eve of the end of the notice period, the 25 U.S. lawmakers made a last-ditch effort to convince the Trump administration from going ahead with its decision.
The 25 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, in a passionate letter, urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to continue negotiating a deal that protects and promotes jobs that rely on trade — both imports and exports — with India.
They argued that terminating GSP for India would hurt American companies seeking to expand their exports to India.
“India’s termination from GSP follows its failure to provide the United States with assurances that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors,” Mr. Trump had said in a letter to Congress, providing a notice of his intent to terminate the designation of India as a beneficiary developing country under GSP programme.
In his letter, Trump said that he was determined that New Delhi had “not assured” the U.S. that it would “provide equitable and reasonable access” to the markets of India.
“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,” he wrote.
Expressing concern over such a move, the lawmakers said that no party — in the United States or India — would benefit from terminating GSP benefits.
“American companies that rely on duty-free treatment for India under the GSP will pay hundreds of millions of dollars annually in new taxes. In the past, even temporary lapses in such benefits have caused companies to lay off workers, cut salaries and benefits, and delay or cancel job-creating investments in the United States,” the lawmakers said.
Source: The Hindu