INDIA-US Generalized System of Preferences

The USA on March 5, 2019 gave a 60-day withdrawal notice to India on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits extended by US.

  • As per the Government, since the review initiated by the US in April 2018 on India’s GSP benefits, India and US have been discussing various trade issues of bilateral interest for a suitable resolution on mutually acceptable terms. GSP benefits are envisaged to be non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory benefits extended by developed countries to developing countries. In India’s case the GSP concessions extended by the US amounted to duty reduction of only USD 190 million per annum.
  • The US had initiated the review on the basis of representations by the US medical devices and dairy industries, but subsequently included numerous other issues on a self-initiated basis. These included issues related to market access for various agriculture and animal husbandry products, relaxation / easing of procedures related to issues like telecom testing / conformity assessment and tariff reduction on ICT products.  The Department of Commerce engaged with various Government of India departments concerned with these issues, and India was able to offer a very meaningful way forward on almost all the US requests. In a few instances, specific US requests were not found reasonable and doable at this time by the departments concerned, in light of public welfare concerns reflective of India’s developing country status and its national interest.
  • India’s position: India was ready to address US concerns regarding medical devices in principle, by putting in place a suitable trade margin approach in a reasonable time frame to balance concerns about fair pricing for the consumers and adequate remuneration for the suppliers.On the issue of dairy market access, India has clarified that while our certification requirement, that the source animal had never been fed animal derived blood meal,is non-negotiable given the cultural and religious sentiment, the requested simplified dairy certification procedure, without diluting this requirement, could be considered.Acceptability of US market access requests related to products like alfalfa hay, cherries and pork was conveyed.On reduction of our IT duties, India’s duties are moderate and not import stopping. Any MFN duty reduction would almost entirely benefit third countries. Accordingly, India conveyed willingness to extend duty concessions on specific items in which there is a clear US interest. On telecom testing, India was willing to consider discussions for a Mutual Recognition Agreement. 

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

  • The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a U.S. trade program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories. GSP was instituted on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974.
  • The GSP program has effective dates which are specified in relevant legislation, thereby requiring periodical reauthorization in order to remain in effect. 

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *