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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

India, China no longer developing nation, won’t let them take benefits: Trump

The US and China are currently engaged in a bruising trade war after Trump imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated.

world Updated: Aug 14, 2019 20:52 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House(Reuters file photo)
         

President Donald Trump has said India and China have “grown” up, and they are no longer “growing nations” that have enjoyed “tremendous advantages” at the cost of “mature nations” like the United States in the context of trade and other bilateral and multilateral relations, and he will not allow that to continue.

Without naming the two countries, Trump went on to cite “victories” scored by the US on his watch in trade fights at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the pulling out of the Paris Accord on climate change as proof of an attitude change effected by his America to stop countries for “screwing” it any longer.

Also Watch | India-US trade tiff | Talks in Delhi days after Trump’s combative tweet

 

“Certain countries -- like China, India, many countries,” Trump said at an event in Pennsylvania on American energy and manufacturing on Monday, “were viewed … as ‘they’re growing’. Right? They’re ‘growing nations’. We’re a ‘mature nation’. They’re growing. These are ‘growing nations’”.

“Well, they’ve grown,” Trump added. “And they had tremendous advantages. But we’re not letting that happen anymore, okay?” He may have been referring to certain concessions and preferential treatment “growing”, “developing” and “emerging” nations are know to receive under some arrangements.

Trump ended duty-free preferential trade benefits for India — under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) — in July after failing to extract concessions on market access in dairy and medical devices sectors, has threatened “reciprocal” higher tariffs at other times and his administration is understood to be planning more punitive measures in pursuit of a lengthening list of US grievances.

Trump ran for the White House on the promise of ending unequal trade and other pacts the United States had signed up for under past presidents — and he has been critical of both Republican and Democrats — with an “America First” vision, and has steadily ended American participation in them or renegotiated them after assuming office. Such as the Paris Accord, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Pulling out of the Paris Accord in 2017, the American president had wrongly alleged India and China were to receive billions of dollars in help under the agreement for mitigating their green house emissions while the United States would have had to throttle its own industries with crippling environmental regulations.

The Pairs Accord, the president said, would have taken away American wealth. “It wasn’t for us; it was good for others. It wasn’t for us. We had to pay money to other countries that are very substantial countries.” He did not name these “substantial countries” but he likely had India in mind, and some others.

“India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries,” Trump had said in a speech in June 2017, announcing his decision to pull the US out of the Accord. And he had blasted the pact for allowing both India and China to continue to use coal for their power plants while the US was required to go off it completely.

Trump has since then rolled back Obama-era environmental regulations that he believed were holding back American manufacturing and energy production and levied higher tariffs on China, India and other trading partners he believes have been “screwing us for years”.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 13:39 IST

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