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India Urges US to Restore Its GSP Partner Status for Developing Nations

© Photo : Twitter/ @PiyushGoyalIndia's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai
India's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai  - Sputnik India, 1920, 12.01.2023
India was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the US GSP Program before ex-President Donald Trump stripped India of the GSP partner status.
Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal urges US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to restore New Delhi’s beneficiary status under Washington’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.
Goyal and Tai led their respective delegations at the 13th Ministerial-level meeting of the United States-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in Washington DC on Wednesday, a joint statement released by the Indian Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

“The United States noted that [restoring India’s GSP status] could be considered, as warranted, in relation to the eligibility criteria determined by the US Congress,” as per the statement.

What Does GSP Provide?

Under the GSP program, certain products from low and middle-income countries can enter the US market duty-free provided that they meet the eligibility criteria established by the US Congress.
New Delhi was removed as a beneficiary country under the GSP program by the previous Donald Trump administration in 2019. The US back then accused New Delhi of imposing “trade barriers that create serious negative effects on United States commerce”.
Addressing reporters after the conclusion of the TPF, Goyal said that trade between the two countries “continues to expand” in spite of former US administration’s decision.
Piyush Goyal on an official visit to the United States - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.01.2023
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At the same time, Goyal suggested discussions on means of expanding bilateral trade ranked higher in priority than demanding duty-free access for certain Indian products under the GSP program.
India-US trade in goods and services reached $160 billion in 2021, making Washington one of New Delhi's biggest trading partners. However, both Goyal and Tai said that “significant potential” in achieving greater trade targets remains unfulfilled.

No Free Trade Deal on the Table

According to Goyal, a free trade agreement between India and the US was “not on the table”.
Washington and New Delhi were in discussions to implement a “mini trade deal” during previous President Trump.
A “mini trade deal” was “too mini” to merit any significant efforts from either side, Goyal said. "We have even forgotten most of those issues. We are looking at much, much bigger ambitions in our trade with the US,” he stated.
Goyal said that New Delhi and Washington have been discussing other ways to expand bilateral trade, including providing each other with greater market access, working on ‘ease of doing business’ to attract greater investments.