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India may lose United States trade benefits

india Updated: Aug 08, 2006 08:34 IST

India may be among one of the countries which could lose preferential trade benefits granted by the United States as the Congress complained that these countries were not adopting a stand that is benefitial for solving the stalement in WTO talks.

The United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab has said that Washington wanted to determine whether certain countries should be excluded from the Generalized System of Preferences program which grants duty-free treatment for goods from 133 developing countries.

The review follows complaints from Capitol Hill that countries like India and Brazil, which avail trade benefits, have not been helpful in efforts to achieve agreement in the Doha Round of global trade talks.

"Why should we continue to give preferential treatment to countries that don't want to give us access to their markets in the WTO negotiations?" wondered Charles Grassley, the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee that has jurisdiction over any legislation to extend the GSP programme.

"For over 30 years, Congress has given the GSP programme broad bipartisan support. We believe this programme serves as an important bridge for developing countries to facilitate their transition from unilateral preferences to full economic partnership.

"Both the US and participating countries benefit from expanded trade under GSP, and it is important that this programme be reauthorized when it expires at the end of the year," Schwab said in a statement.

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