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US restoring India’s GSP status hope high during Modi visit

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US restoring India's GSP status hope high during Modi visitNew York, Sep 21 (IANS) Speculation is high that US could consider reinstating India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme as part of a potential trade deal between the two countries and both the countries will announce a trade package during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.

The Trump administration terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) on June 5. Recently Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said it was up to America to take a call on reinstating India’s status as a beneficiary of that programme while asserting India meets the criteria for trade concessions under the GSP.

The US had removed India from the GSP programme, which allowed duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of annual exports to the US, on “lack of reciprocal market access” of US exports in Indian market”.

The 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.

Recently, a bipartisan group of 44 US lawmakers urged the Trump administration to reinstate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme as part of a potential trade deal between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi is on a visit to the US from September 21-27.

Soon after arriving in Houston, Modi will have a round table with several chief executives from the energy sector where major energy firms such as Air Products, Baker Hughes, BP PLC, Cheniere Energy, Dominion Energy, Emerson Electric Company, Exxonmobil, Schlumberger, Tellurian Inc., and Westlake Chemicals are expected to participate, sources said.

This will be followed by the mega event in Houston, billed as ‘Howdy Modi’, where Modi will address the Indian diaspora. The event will also be attended by US President Donald Trump.

On September 25, the Prime Minister will deliver a keynote address at the plenary of the Bloomberg global business forum.

He will also address an investment roundtable that India is organising with 45 major companies where Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mastercard, Visa, Amway, J P Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, Walmart, Microsoft, Qualcomm Technology, USIBC, Amazon Retail, Ford Automobile, GE Aviation, GE Company, Google and Hewlett Packard Enterprise likely to be participants.

Modi and Trump are expected to meet in New York on September 24 for their third standalone meeting this year.

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