The Trump administration removed India’s GST status in June. India plans renewed efforts on reducing Chinese imports, as well, according to sources.
A top official from the Indian Commerce Ministry said that New Delhi would “initiate trade talks with the US soon. India will seek 100 percent restoration of GSP status to us. US is currently offering only a partial restoration of GSP for India, but we will impress upon the US for full relief under the trade talks.”
GSP is essentially a preferential tariff system which helps reduce tariffs on various products.
On Chinese imports, the official said, “The government will increase efforts to reduce Chinese imports.” Chinese imports in India accounted for more than $70 billion in 2018-19.
The US has evinced interest to make progress on trade talks with India.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday that the Trump administration is waiting for a proposal from India to address the GSP issue.
“We are eager to hear it. And hopefully things can be dealt with. There is nothing irreversible about the GSP decision. We are eager to make further progress with India on that topic,” Ross said.
If the US restores GSP status to India, it will benefit the Indian auto-making industry, textiles, jewelry, pharma, chemicals, plastic and steel products, among others, offering duty-free export to the US if GSP is restored. Almost 2,000 products stand to benefit.
India on Tuesday said it will begin the process of renegotiating free trade agreements with Asian and other nations, as New Delhi is facing acute trade deficits within the Asian as well as the Asia-Pacific bloc.
Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that a new free trade agreement with South Korea is being reviewed currently and a process of negotiation with Japan is likely to begin soon.