Trump ends preferential trade status for India, Turkey

by Samuel Abasi Posted on March 5th, 2019

Washington: The Trump administration has said it will terminate its preferential trade status to India and Turkey as the White House attempts to fix what it sees as imbalanced trade relations.

On Monday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a statement that said India’s and Turkey’s designations as beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences program would be canceled due to non-compliance.

In a statement published Monday, it said that India failed to assure the United States “that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors.”

Specifically, it said India had implemented trade barriers that have negatively impacted the United States, and it has not taken measures to fix it.

Turkey’s designation was terminated as it was discovered that the Eastern European country was “economically developed and should no longer benefit from preferential market access,” it said.

Turkey was given the designation by the United States in 1975 and since then, its gross national income per capita, declining poverty rates and export diversification show that it no longer warrants preferential treatment, it said.

The designation change for India follows “intensive engagement” between the two countries, Trump wrote in a letter, stating that he “will continue to assess whether the government of India is providing equitable and reasonable access to its markets”.

The statement says the designation terminations were at the behest of Trump, who is currently trying to stymie an ongoing trade war with China.

Trump has long said that the United States has been on the wrong side of trade deficits and his administration made it a major goal to fix that.

Most recently, Trump had called off a scheduled tariff increase on China due to trade talks progressing.

He said if a trade deal is completed, he’d invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort to sign it.

The designation removal will not take effect for 60 days after notifications are sent to Congress as well as to the governments of Turkey and India. It will then be enacted by a Presidential Proclamation, the statement said.

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