Washington: A bipartisan group of 44 US lawmakers urged the Trump administration to reinstate the preferential trade treatment under Generalised System of Preference (GSP) program to India as a part of a trade deal between the two nations.
The GSP was implemented in 1974 and it is the largest and oldest US trade preference scheme which permits duty-free imports for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries. But the US had put an end to the privileges that India enjoyed under the GSP since June 5.
In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the lawmakers said, ” An early harvest approach would ensure that long-sought market access gains for US industries are not held up by negotiations over remaining issue, thereby providing swift relief for both American exporters and importers. Resolving some individual issues quickly could build momentum for future successes.”
“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 the termination of India’s GSP eligibility on June 5, 2019,” they said.
“We are encouraged to see continued engagement between the administration and the newly elected Government of India that assumed office in late May, including visits by senior USTR and Indian officials over the summer,” the letter said.
This comes days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, where he will be holding talks with President Donald Trump.