New Delhi, Arguing that India had failed to assure America that it would provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors, US President Donald Trump on Monday informed the US Congress about his intent to terminate the designation of India and Turkey as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalised System of Preferences programme.
In a letter to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, Trump said he was determined that New Delhi had “not assured” the United States 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,” Trump said in his letter, a copy of which was released to the press.
In a separate letter, Trump also informed the Congress of his intent to terminate the GSP beneficiary designation of Turkey. This was primarily because the economy of Turkey had improved a lot in the last four-and-a-half decades, he said.
Trump’s letter to Pelosi could be seen as a major setback in India-US bilateral relationship, in particular in the arena of trade and economy.
In a separate statement, the US Trade Representative said India’s termination from GSP followed its failure to provide the US with assurances that it would provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors.
Under the United States GSP programme, certain products can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.
The GSP criteria include, among others, respecting arbitral awards in favour of US citizens or corporations, combatting child labour, respecting internationally recognised worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection and providing the US with equitable and reasonable market access. India is yet to respond.