Government should engage with US Congress to resolve US GSP withdrawal: TPCI
– Industry hopeful of GSP resolution through US Congress intervention
– Trade Committee members of US House of Representatives ready to play constructive role
New Delhi, July 1, 2019: Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) said today, Indian government should actively engage with the US Congress to resolve withdrawal of GSP by the US government. Chairman TPCI requested government to explore the US Congress active role to mitigate on the issue of GSP withdrawal, which is in the interest of both India and US, in the long run. On account of the growing trade engagement and mutual cooperation, the tariff war including GSP withdrawal needs a review. Chairman TPCI has said, US is already reviewing its tariff war with China.
Chairman TPCI, Mohit Singla said, ”We are getting strong industry inputs from our US traders that the issue of US GSP withdrawal to India may be taken to US Congress, which has all the rights to, not only question the government unilateral and arbitrary orders including regulations, but also mitigate to arrive at constructive solutions.” Good news is, Chief’s Trade Counsels of both Democratic and Republican parties are ready to play constructive role to resolve the escalating tariff war between the US and India, he added.
Further Singla said,”As per the US government regulation, a beneficiary country must meet 15 discretionary and mandatory eligibility criteria, which is, established by congress to qualify for GSP, this gives the US Congress legal ground to question any move to withdraw GSP to any country without reason and rational.” The most important aspect is, it’s not making any economic sense either for US, as it’s hurting their industry more than of India, he added.
Chairman TPCI further said that, “The industry input received to TPCI also indicate the Indian government stance to only deal with the United State Trade Representative (USTR) and not considering US Congress and House of representatives, who are ready to take up the issue with US government.”
The US Trade Committee members of US House of Representatives in their statements have said, “Since approximately January 2019 the Indian side, has completely stopped communicating with the Trade Counsels in the US Congress. They are baffled by why the Indian Government and the Indian Embassy have not been coordinating any trade agenda (especially tariffs) with the US Congress, and instead are dealing solely with the Office of the United State Trade Representative, which is a part of the Executive branch of the US government.”
Earlier, several members of the US Congress and US manufacturers had urged Trump not to withdraw GSP benefits available to India since India is a strategic ally and the move will increase input costs for American producers.
Singla pointed out that, “The US government stands of India being a developed country is not uniform across the board, which was reason cited for GSP withdrawal. Plus US decision is unilateral and arbitrary and against the WTO agreement.”
India’s total benefits from GSP tariff exemptions amounted to $260 million in 2018, according to USTR.
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