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India's reluctance to give equitable market access led to GSP withdrawal, says US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross

Updated : June 13, 2019 09:53 PM IST

India's reluctance to give equitable market access to the American companies led to the withdrawal of the generalised system of preferences (GSP), the US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

Ross was speaking at the two-day India Ideas Summit organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC) in Washington DC.

He said that the US industry is confronted by tariff and non tariff barriers in India particularly in e-commerce, data localisation and price control. There is need for more consistency and predictability in regulations.

The United States under President Donald Trump has been accused of protectionist trade policies as he has threatened — and in many instances —levied high tariffs on several countries.

However, Ross contends that the accusations against the US belie the facts.

"The US is the least protectionist country and our trade deficit is proof of that. India’s average applied tariff at 13 percent remains one of the highest in the world," he said.

Last year, the US announced that it will review India's eligibility criteria under the GSP before withdrawing the privilege earlier this year.

"US is addressing a balanced and more reciprocal trade relationship with India and it is encouraged by the country’s efforts to improve ease of doing business," Ross added at the event.

Ross, who was in the country last month, added that he will be visiting India again in the near future.
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