National Milk, USDEC praises decision to terminate India trade status
March 5, 2019
The National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council today commended the Trump administration's decision to terminate the preferential trade status granted to India on the grounds India failed to provide "equitable and reasonable access to its market" and comply with other provisions of the statute.
India has denied market access to U.S. dairy products since 2003, despite receiving preferential access to the U.S. market under a special duty-free trade arrangement called the Generalized System of Preferences, the groups said.
"For 16 years India has enjoyed unilateral access to U.S. markets while flaunting their obligation to provide fair market access mandated under the GSP program, and harming American dairy farmers in the process," said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.
"The U.S. dairy industry strongly welcomes this enforcement action by USTR and hopes that it sets the precedent that unfair trade practices will not be tolerated, and compliance enforcement measures will be utilized when warranted," said USDEC Chairman and CEO Tom Vilsack.
On Monday Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that the United States intends to terminate India's and Turkey's designations as beneficiary developing countries under the GSP program because they no longer comply with the statutory eligibility criteria.
USTR said, "India's termination from GSP follows its failure to provide the United States with assurances that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors. Turkey's termination from GSP follows a finding that it is sufficiently economically developed and should no longer benefit from preferential market access to the United States market."
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By statute, these changes may not take effect until at least 60 days after the notifications to Congress and the governments of India and Turkey, and will be enacted by a presidential proclamation.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said today, "The Indian government hasn't engaged enough to address market access issues. For the sake of the many Americans and Indians who relied on GSP benefits, I hope that India will work to quickly address these legitimate concerns."
The decision may turn India and Turkey into trade foes, Fortune reported.