A group of 44 influential US lawmakers has written to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging him to reinstate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme. The Congressmen observed, “We also have a strong desire to see GSP eligibility for India reinstated. Should there be progress in negotiations, we hope you will use the tools provided by the GSP statute as warranted, such as partial reinstatement.”
The Trump administration had initiated to review India’s compliance with the GSP market access criterion in April 2018. Earlier in June this year, United States terminated India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under GSP.
The GSP is US’ largest trade preference programme which bolsters economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from ‘beneficiary’ countries marked under this.
Lawmakers have urged the Trump administration to adopt an ‘early harvest’ approach that would ensure that long-sought market access gains for US industries are not held up by negotiations over other issues, which finally will provide ‘swift relief’ for American exporters and importers.
“The change in government provides a fresh opportunity to address outstanding concerns, and we hope that new Indian officials will offer concrete solutions that improve market access for American companies and workers” the lawmakers added in the letter.
The development comes when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump are slated to address the Indian diaspora in Houston on September 22.
The September 22 affair at Houston will be third such event when Prime Minister Modi will address a gathering in partnership with the Indian diaspora abroad. In 2015, Modi addressed events in San Jose and Madison Square in New York in 2014.