India refuses to compromise on ‘national interests’ for US trade benefits

Indian businessmen pray in front of their record-keeping books in worship to the Hindu deity of wealth goddess Lakshmi © Reuters /Amit Dave

India will not sacrifice its economic development for petty trade concessions, the Ministry of Commerce stated after the US accused New Delhi of restricting access to its markets and annulled its preferential trade status.

“India, as part of our bilateral trade discussions, had offered resolution on significant US requests in an effort to find a mutually acceptable way forward,” the ministry statement said. “It is unfortunate that this did not find acceptance by the US.”

India… shall always uphold its national interest in these matters. We have significant development imperatives and concerns and our people also aspire for better standards of living. This will remain the guiding factor in the Government’s approach.

Around $5.6 billion worth of Indian products have enjoyed duty-free access to the American market annually, under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. New Delhi was the world’s largest beneficiary of such concessions designed for developing nations, until US President Donald Trump announced an end to India’s special designation, effective June 5.

Over the last year, the US administration has mounted pressure on India in an effort to force the country to open its markets and purchase more American products to close the trade deficit gap with the US.

Source: RT

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