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Reinstate India’s GSP status: 44 US lawmakers to Trump administration

US lawmakers enjoin Trump administration to re-instate India’s preferential trade status
US lawmakers enjoin Trump administration to re-instate India’s preferential trade status

Forty-four lawmakers have urged the US government to reinstate India’s GSP status. India had been suspended from the list of beneficiaries under the Generalized System of Preferences in June.

A bipartisan group of 44 lawmakers has urged the Donald Trump administration to re-instate India as a beneficiary of the duty-free import scheme for developing nations. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme from which India was removed in June. The GSP stimulates economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

In a letter addressed to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the group of lawmakers, Led by Congressmen Jim Himes and Ron Estes, urged the US government to extend the trade benefits back to India. The letter has been signed by 26 Democrats and 18 Republicans.

“The letter shows Congress’ strong, bipartisan support for swift action to reinstate GSP for India and to help constituents that depend on two-way trade,” Dan Anthony, executive director of the Coalition for GSP, said.

The lawmakers stated that the new policy has negatively impacted US companies. “As you know, several US industries filed petitions under GSP’s market access criterion, which were accepted for review in April 2018. Ultimately, failure to make sufficient progress on the issues led to termination of India’s GSP eligibility on June 5, 2019,” the lawmakers said.

The lawmakers averred that removing India from the GSP programme has been detrimental to the US. Latest reports stated that the American companies lost about $30 million in July after India lost its preferential trade status.

India has been the largest beneficiary of the programme as the scheme allowed imports at zero tariffs from over 120 countries. Notably, India sold an estimated $6.3 billion worth of goods to the US under this programme in 2018.

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