US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross on Tuesday said India and US are working on issues that led to the withdrawal of the GSP status (Generalized System of Preference) for India. In response to a question by News18 on a teleconference briefing from Bangkok, Secretary Ross said there is “nothing that’s irreversible about the GSP decision”.
He said there were three outstanding issues and “Indian trade people” are working on a proposal that US is keen to hear and hopefully be dealt with. He added that it was indeed a “couple of specific items that led to it (withdrawal), if those get resolved then there is no reason it couldn’t be re-restored”.
US withdrew India's GSP status from June 5. The GSP allowed duty-free imports for some products from designated beneficiary countries, including India. The Trump administration accused India of not giving equitable market access to some US products like medical equipment and also piled pressure on doing away with mandatory certification on dairy products, following which GSP was withdrawn.
When asked about the mini trade deal between India and US, Secretary Ross was not very forthcoming in revealing where it was headed but he said US "was eager to make further progress with India”. He added that the matter was discussed in the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York and also in Houston in what he described as a "gigantically successful" rally in September.