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'Unfortunate': India on US decision to preferential trade status

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New Delhi, June 01: India on Saturday said the decision by United States President Donald Trump to end India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under a key preferential trade programme was unfortunate.

File photo of Narendra Modi and Donald Trump

"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. It is unfortunate that this did not find acceptance by the US," the government said in a statement.

The Generalised System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

"I have determined that India has not assured the US that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, 2019," said Mr Trump on Friday, ignoring requests made by several top American lawmakers to reverse the decision as it may harm American businesses.

Under the GSP programme, nearly 2,000 products including auto components and textile materials can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by the US Congress.

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