The US formally terminated India’s eligibility for a duty free import scheme

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  • The United States on formally terminated India’s eligibility for a duty-free import scheme for developing countries on 31 May.
  • It cited that India has not given assurances it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets to US companies as required under relevant American trade laws.
  • The country would end its preferential trade treatment for India on June 5.


  • Notably, India is the biggest beneficiary of the US’ Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). It sold an estimated $6.3 billion worth of goods to the United States under this program in 2018.
  • President Trump had conveyed is an intention to terminate India’s eligibility for the programme, Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), to the US Congress on March 4. And the formal termination became due on May 4, after the mandatory 60-day notice period.
  • But the administration held off on the proclamation as India was in the middle of elections at the time and there was pressure from US lawmakers, from both parties, to delay the termination to allow more time for negotiations. There was an expectation that India could avert the termination.
  • But the Trump administration had concluded much before, according to people close to the developments that India would not be able to deliver no matter how much additional time it was given.
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