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US withdraws duty-free concession on import of 50 Indian products

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

The Indian products, among 90 items originating from various countries that had duty-free access in America under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), were removed from the GSP list effective November 1 by a US Presidential proclamation earlier this week.

Citing the US Trade Act of 1974, the proclamation said “the President may withdraw, suspend or limit 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 program 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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