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Trump plans to scrap preferential trade treatment in setback to Modi

Newdelhi: President Trump looked set to open a new front in his trade wars with a plan to end preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for nearly re. 40,000 crore worth of the country’s exports to the U S. Trump, who has vowed to cut U S. trade deficits, has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs, and U S trade officials said scrapping the concessions would take at least 60 days after notifications to Congress and the Indian government. “I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the U S and the government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the U S that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India,” Trump said in a letter to congressional leaders. India is the world’s largest beneficiary of the Generalised System of Preferences program and ending its participation would be the strongest punitive action since Trump took office in 2017. The U S Trade Representative’s Office said removing India from the GSP programme would not take effect for at least 60 days after the notifications, and would be done through a presidential proclamation. The preferential trade treatment brings “actual benefit” of just re. 1,764 cr a year to India, however, a government source said in New Delhi, adding that it hoped the planned withdrawal would not lead to trade hurdles.