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NEW DELHI: Amid demands from Indian authorities for restoration of the generalised system of preferences (GSP) that allowed the levy of lower import duty on several products, latest data suggests that the withdrawal of the facility has not significantly impacted shipments from the country.
During June-December, India’s exports to the US went up by just under 2% to over $32 billion, data available with the US commerce department and the US Census Bureau showed. During this period, the value of goods that were covered by the GSP programme was estimated to have increased by 5.5% to around $7.5 billion. Effective June 5, the US had withdrawn GSP benefits for close to 2,000 items.
An analysis has shown that sectors such as auto parts, iron & steel and chemicals had in the past benefited the most from preferential import duties but are seen to be least resilient to the change.
The government, which has been negotiating a trade deal with the US, had sought a restoration of the benefit along with access for several goods. While talks had been on course, the US has raised fresh demands, which India is unwilling to accept. As a result, the prospects of finalisation of the much-awaited trade deal have dimmed during American president Donald Trump’s visit to India next week.

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