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US lawmakers urge Trump administration to restore India’ GSP eligibility

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Washington DC, Sep 18: A bipartisan 44-member team of US lawmakers have on Wednesday urged the Trump administration to restore privileged trade treatment offered to India under Generalized System of Preference (GSP) program as part of a trade agreement between the two countries.

US lawmakers, in a letter on September 17 to American trade representative Robert Lighthizer, said “an early harvest approach” will ensure long-sought market access benefits for the American industries are not taken by negotiations on remaining issues, according to ANI.

The letter said: “We also have a strong desire to see the 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 a partial reinstatement.”

It further added resolving some individual issues as soon as possible could help build momentum for future successes.

The statements came days ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, where he is scheduled to hold talks with President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers also said the move of scrapping India from GSP preferential arrangement have impacted American entities trying to access their market.

They said, “As you know, several US industries filed petitions under GSP’s market access criterion, which were accepted for review in April 2018. Ultimately, failure to make sufficient progress on the issues led to the termination of India’s GSP eligibility on June 5, 2019.”

They exuded confidence in Modi-led government, stating the change in authority has provided a “fresh opportunity to address outstanding concerns” between New Delhi and Washington.

They said “we are encouraged” to see continued cooperation between US administration and newly elected Indian government that assumed the office in May for the second term.

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