Washington: The US on Thursday revoked duty-free concessions on import of at least 50 Indian products, mostly from handloom and agriculture sectors, reflecting the Trump administration’s tough stand on trade-related issues with New Delhi.
The federal register issued a notification, listing out 90 products which were so far subject to duty-free provisions under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
As of November 1, these products “will no longer qualify for duty-free preferences under the GSP programme but may continue to be imported subject to regular Most Favored Nation duty-rates,” an official of US Trade Representative said.
US President Donald Trump issued a Presidential proclamation on Tuesday, leading to the removal of these products from the privilege beginning November 1.
A review of the products indicates that the presidential proclamation is not country specific, but product specific. With India being the largest beneficiary of the GSP, it has been hit the most by the latest decision.
The GSP, the largest and oldest US trade preference programme, is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.
A count of these products indicated that at least 50 of them are from India. Notably India is the largest beneficiary of the GSP. In 2017, India’s duty-free export to the US under the GSP was to the tune of more than $5.6 billion.
The volume of India’s export to the US impacted by the latest move of the Trump administration is not known yet, but the list of products from which duty-free import provision has been removed reflects that a large number of small and medium size business could be impacted, in particular handloom and agricultural sector.
Some of the prominent Indian products removed from the duty-free provisions of the GSP include dried pigeon pea seed; areca nuts, fresh or dried, in shell; turpentine gum; mangoes, prepared or preserved by vinegar or acetic acid; sandstone, merely cut into blocks or slabs of a rectangular shape; tin chlorides; barium chlorides; salts and esters of tartaric acid, nesoi; and trimethyl phosphite. These products can still be exported to the US but will be subject to regular tariffs....