Trump to End Duty-Free Trade Agreement with India

President Donald Trump on Monday stated that he intends to put an end to the preferential trade treatment for India, which currently allows $5.6 billion worth of that country’s exports to enter the U.S. duty-free.

“I am taking this step because, after intensive engagement between the United States and the government of India, I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India,” Trump wrote in a letter to Congress, according to multiple media reports.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, in a statement issued Tuesday, stated that the decision was made because India has failed “to provide the United States with assurances that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors.”

They also added that the removal of India’s preferential status wouldn’t go into effect for a minimum of 60 days.

According to The Hill, the decision came after the President, on Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), criticized India for being “a very high-tariff nation.”

“When we send a motorcycle to India, it’s a hundred percent tariff. They charge 100 percent when India sends a motorcycle to us, we brilliantly charge them nothing,” he said.

“So, I want a reciprocal tax or at least, I want to charge a tax. It’s called the mirror tax, but it’s reciprocal,” Trump added.

Meanwhile, India’s Commerce Ministry secretary, Anup Wadhawan, on Tuesday stated that India doesn’t plan to discuss retaliatory action against the U.S., according to Reuters.

“Discussions are on with the United States, and given cordial and strong ties, keeping retaliatory tariffs out of it,” Wadhawan told reporters. “The government will internally review the retaliatory tariff issue.”

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