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Posted at: Sep 18, 2019, 10:16 AM; last updated: Sep 18, 2019, 3:10 PM (IST)

44 US lawmakers urge Trump administration to reinstate GSP for India

44 US lawmakers urge Trump administration to reinstate GSP for India
The Trump administration terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in June.

Washington, September 18

A bipartisan group of 44 influential lawmakers has urged the Trump administration to reinstate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme as part of a potential trade deal between the two countries.

The Trump administration terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in June.

The GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the House members suggest an “early harvest” approach that “would ensure that long-sought market access gains for US industries are not held up by negotiations over remaining issues”.

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would meet on September 22 in Houston and the two sides hope to announce a potential deal on longstanding trade issues, including GSP, a media report said.

Led by Congressmen Jim Himes and Ron Estes, the letter to Lighthizer has been signed by 26 Democrats and 18 Republicans, showing the strong, bipartisan support for reinstating GSP benefits for imports from India.

“Companies are telling Congress about the American costs--both in dollars and jobs--of lost GSP eligibility for India,” said Dan Anthony, executive director of the Coalition for GSP, on Tuesday.

“The letter shows Congress’ strong, bipartisan support for swift action to reinstate GSP for India and to help constituents that depend on two-way trade,” he said. PTI

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