Donald Trump says he plans to end India’s preferential trade treatment

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., March 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

US President Donald Trump said Monday that he intends to End India’s preferential trade treatment under a program that allows Indian exports worth $ 5.6 billion to enter the United States duty-free.

“I am notifying my intention to terminate the designation of India as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program,” Trump said in a letter to congressional leaders.

“I am taking this step because, after an intense compromise 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 Indian markets” said Trump.

Trump, who promised to reduce US trade deficits, has repeatedly called on India for its high tariffs.
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The trade deficit of goods and services of the United States with India was $ 27.3 billion in 2017, according to the Office of Trade Representatives of the United States.

India is the biggest beneficiary of the world’s GSP program and ending its participation would be the strongest punitive action against India since Trump took office in 2017.

“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 said.