US cuts off India preferential trade access

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(Washington) – The United States will end preferential trade treatment for India, US President Donald Trump has announced, in a fresh economic headwind for New Delhi alongside slowing growth and record unemployment.

India has been the single biggest beneficiary of the decades-old US Generalized System of Preferences programme, allowing the country to export $5.7 billion worth of duty-free goods in 2017, according to figures from US Congress.

Trump said in a statement issued late Friday that he wanted greater access for US goods to the giant South Asian nation.

“I have determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets,” Trump said.

“Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India´s designation as a beneficiary developing country.”

Trump announced in March that he would be ending the preferential trade accord with India, but did not give a date.