Washington: US President Donald Trump is planning to end India’s preferential trade treatment under a program that allows $5.6 billion worth of Indian exports to enter the United States duty-free.
Trump, who has vowed to reduce US trade deficits, has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs.
“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 on Monday in a letter to congressional leaders.
According to reports, the US Trade Representative’s Office said removing India from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program would not take effect for at least 60 days after notifications to Congress and the Indian government, and it will be enacted by a presidential proclamation.
The US goods and services trade deficit with India was $27.3 billion in 2017, according to the US Trade Representative’s Office.
India is the world’s largest beneficiary of the GSP program and ending its participation would be the strongest punitive action against India since Trump took office in 2017.
(With agencies input)