US withdraws duty-free privileges  on import of 90 Indian products

Donald Trump

Washington, Nov 1: The US on Thursday withdrew duty-free concessions on import of around 50 Indian products, mostly from the agriculture and handloom sectors, reflecting the protectionist approach to trade put in place by President Donald Trump.

The federal register issued a notification, listing out 90 products which were so far subject to duty-free provisions under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

Citing the US Trade Act of 1974, the proclamation said: “the President may withdraw, suspend or limit the application of the duty-free treatment that is accorded to specified articles under the GSP when imported from designated beneficiary developing countries.”

“I have determined to withdraw the application of the duty-free treatment accorded to a certain article,” the Trump proclamation said.

The GSP is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for products from designated beneficiary countries.

India has been the largest beneficiary of the GSP and last year its duty-free exports to the US under their trade preference programme amounted to over $5.5 billion.

The export of these products to the US will henceforth be subject to regular tariffs.

Indian products removed from the GSP include areca nuts, mangoes processed by vinegar or acetic acid, sandstone cut in slabs, whole buffalo skin leather, plain weave handloom cotton fabrics containing over 85 per cotton by weight, handloom carpets and textile floor coverings.

Products from other countries like Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines and Indonesia have also been removed from the GSP list.

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