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India to seek deadline extension for GSP withdrawal

India is looking for an extension of the deadline US for withdrawal of export benefits to domestic exporters under Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme. Earlier this month, the US decided to go ahead with its decision to scrap the preferential trade benefit under GSP scheme after 60 days, which is expected to impact India's exports to the US worth $5.6 billion under this scheme. Although, the Indian government has said that the US government's move to withdraw duty concessions on certain products under the GSP programme will not have any significant impact on exports to America, small and medium exporters have flagged concerns.

India exported goods worth $5.6 billion under GSP last year, but India's total GSP benefits were to the tune of only $190 million. GSP benefits are envisaged as non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory to be extended by developed countries to developing economies. US President Donald Trump intends to end the preferential trade status granted to India and Turkey, asserting that New Delhi has failed to assure America of "equitable and reasonable" access to its markets, an announcement that could be seen as a major setback to bilateral trade ties.. As many as 3,700 products get GSP benefits but India exports only 1,900 items such as chemicals and engineering under that concession, which was introduced in 1976 by the US.