US lawmakers urge Trump admin to not terminate GSP for India
A bipartisan group of 25 members of US congress have urged the Trump administration to not terminate India’s eligibility for a zero-duty import programme and asked negotiation be continued to find a solution.
“No party — in the United States or India — would benefit from terminating GSP (Generalized System of Preferences, as the programme is called),” they wrote in a letter to US trade representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday, the day before the completion of the 60-day notification period specified under rules. The White House had communicated to the US congress its intention to terminate India’s eligibility on March 4.
The lawmakers said in their letter that the termination would hurt American companies that depend on duty-free imports from India under the programme will have to pay millions of dollars in new taxes. And in the past even “temporary lapses” in the programme led to lay-offs, salary-cuts and loss of benefits for workers.
And it will make it even more difficult to resolve underlying trade issues with India. “It would be a step backward, not forward,” they wrote.
The Trump administration has said it intends to remove India from GSP because India “has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India”. The United States has sought market access for its dairy, medical devices and other products.
Other members of US congress wrote urging the Trump administration to delay the termination and allow more time for negotiations, at least after the elections in India.
There has been no word from the administration on its plans.