India is likely to bring up the full restoration of the Generalised System of Preferences in trade talks with the United States, which are likely to take place ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India at the end of this month.
Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and his US counterpart Robert Lighthizer are likely to give final shape to the trade deal ahead of Trump's visit. The Indian commerce ministry did not confirm the dates of Lighthizer's visit to New Delhi.
The US-India trade deal is likely to be signed during the US president's visit on 24 and 25 February. This will be the president's first visit to India.
According to the Indian commerce ministry officials, India will put forth its demand to fully restore the GSP, which allows India duty-free exports of at least 3,000 commodities to the US. “Tariff benefits to the tune of over $200 million used to get accrued to Indian exporters under GSP used. It worked as an incentive. In its trade talks, India will pursue it", a commerce ministry official told Sputnik.
GSP, a major trade preference programme launched in 1974 to offer an opportunity for developing and under-developed nations to boost their economies via participation in global trade, is also the biggest such programme by the US.
The US withdrew India's GSP status in June last year. In response, India imposed retaliatory tariffs on 28 US imports.
In the 2017-18 fiscla year, India received cross-sectoral tariff benefits under the GSP worth $260 million. In the preceding financial year (2016-17), India received duty benefits worth $190 million under the system.
In the past, the US has restored GSP benefits to countries like Liberia, Argentina, and Myanmar.
India withdrew from a China-led 16 nation free trade agreement in November last year. The trade bloc would have represented 30 percent of global GDP. India withdrew from the deal because Beijing was adamant about non-tariff barriers on Indian products.