Trump to revoke preferential trade status for Turkey and India

Trump to revoke preferential trade status for Turkey and India

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to end preferential trade status for India, under a scheme which allows certain products to enter the U.S. duty-free.

"In the four and a half decades since Turkey's designation as a GSP beneficiary developing country, Turkey's economy has grown and diversified," Trump wrote in a letter to Congress, adding Washington "remains committed to fair and reciprocal trade with Turkey".

"An increase in Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, declining poverty rates, and export diversification, by trading partner and by sector, are evidence of Turkey's higher level of economic development," the letter says.

"I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the United States and the government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India," Trump stressed.

The preferential trade treatment brought India an annual “actual benefit” of just $190 million, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said.

"Discussions are on with the United States, and given cordial and strong ties, (we are) keeping retaliatory tariffs out of it," Reuters cited him as saying.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said removing India from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme would not take effect for at least 60 days after the notifications, and would be done through a presidential proclamation.

Annual Indian exports to the United States are close to $80 billion, but those covered by the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) are worth just $5.6 billion. Turkey ranked fifth with an estimated $1.66 billion in applicable imports.