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Cong Takes Swipe at Modi's 'Hugplomacy', Says Govt Snoozes as US Terminates India's Beneficiary Status

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also called the move by the US trade body a blow to ‘Make in India’ initiative, a pet project of the Modi-led NDA government.

News18.com

Updated:April 1, 2019, 10:32 AM IST
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Cong Takes Swipe at Modi's 'Hugplomacy', Says Govt Snoozes as US Terminates India's Beneficiary Status
File photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donal Trump.

New Delhi: As India stands to lose its status as the beneficiary developing country under the United States’ Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to take any corrective measure.

Citing a media report, Surjewala said the GSP withdrawal is likely to affect India’s plastic industry to the tune of $30,000,000 in exports.

He also called the move by the US trade body a blow to ‘Make in India’ initiative, a pet project of the Modi-led NDA government.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump informed the US Congress about his intent to end India's preferential trade treatment under GSP that allows $5.6 billion worth of Indian exports to enter the US duty-free. Trump, who has vowed to reduce US trade deficits, has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs.

However, on Wednesday, several influential US lawmakers, including Democratic presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard, urged the US trade body to delay the move till the Lok Sabha election is over.

“My hope is that we can delay the termination of these GSP preferences until after the elections in India so that we can have a non-political conversation that is very focused on how we collectively can move forward together,” Gabbard, the first Hindu US lawmaker, said at a conference on the US-India Partnership: Economic, Immigration & Strategic Issues.

India exports about 50 of the 94 products on which GSP benefits may be stopped. The GSP removal will leave a reasonable impact on India as the country enjoyed preferential tariff on exports worth of nearly $5.6 billion under the GSP route out of the total exports of $48 billion in 2017-18.

In total, India exports nearly 1,937 products to the US under GSP.

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