Trade experts said on Wednesday that India is unlikely to drag the United States to the WTO (World Trade Organization) for ending its preferential and tax concession benefits to its exports, but also said India is set to raise the issue as the entire review was “discriminatory”.
According to Economic Times news reports, under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) the benefits are supposed to be a non-discriminatory and also non-reciprocal, but the Indian government is unlikely to challenge Washington’ move as it has withdrawn India from the scheme not providing “equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors”.
One official aware of the details said, “The US has not said that it is ending the benefits on the basis of non-reciprocity. It has talked about equitable market access.”
US President Donald Trump has on Monday announced his decision of withdrawing India from enjoying Generalize System of Preference (GSP) programme on goods exported to Washington. Trump said the decision was taken because India now no longer comply with statutory eligibility criteria.
Washington has on Tuesday said India had implemented a “wide array of trade barriers that create serious negative effects on United States commerce. Despite intensive engagement, India has failed to take the necessary steps to meet the GSP criterion”.
Trump added, “I will continue to assess whether the Government of India is providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets, in accordance with the GSP eligibility criteria.”
Another official said, “We are yet to take a call whether we will challenge it but discussions are on.”
However, former trade envoys and experts have stated the US’ move should be disputed over systemic grounds. “By not challenging this violation, we would be giving up our right to fight for special and differential treatment at WTO. GSP is supposed to be nondiscriminatory,” said Biswajit Dhar, the professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning in the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University.