GSP withdrawal may impact garment export business: Rajiv Kumar

New Delhi: Exports of readymade garments to the United States will be impacted with the withdrawal of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday.

“The US move will impact the garment export business,” he said. “India must improve its export supportive system,
and increase our efficiency and productivity. This will increase our export system,” he told ANI.

When asked if New Delhi will impose a retaliatory tariff, Kumar said there is no need for such action.

“I feel that India must not take any retaliatory step. No quid pro quo should be levelled. They (the United States) have only removed the preferences. We also don’t give any reference to them. Take it in your stride. We should use this in our trade facilitation. We must focus to improve our efficiency, infrastructure and logistics so that our market share does not decrease,” he added.

India has been the world’s largest beneficiary of the GSP scheme that has been in force since the 1970s. Under the programme, certain products can enter the United States duty-free if beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by the US Congress.

GSP criteria include, among others, respecting arbitral awards in favour of US citizens or corporations, combating child labour, respecting internationally recognised worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection, and providing the United States with equitable and reasonable market access.

Aiming to reduce the US trade deficit, President Donald Trump has designated India as a ‘high tariff nation’ several times and called out to reduce the heavy duties that New Delhi imposes on goods imported from the United States.