India is working with the United States to
resolve all trade issues even as Washington has decided to review India’s
eligibility to enjoy duty-free access for certain products under a tax benefit
The US has also added India to its watch list of
countries alleging questionable foreign
exchange policies. Besides, it has dragged India to the World
Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement mechanism challenging Indian export
Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said the US is
India’s important trading partner and the latter has a large trade surplus with
it. “We have special relation with the US, which is multi-faceted, multi
dimensional and also very strategic. We are working with the US to address the
trade issues,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
He said that over four million Indians are living
in the US and it is one of the major markets for goods and services exports.
“In a situation like this, the US has taken certain unilateral actions. So we
will follow the rules of WTO as well as talk to them,” he added.
Prabhu said the assistant US trade representative
(USTR) was in New Delhi last week and “we are in touch with the US at all
levels”. On the issue of imposing high duties on steel and aluminium by the US,
he said India’s exports of these two commodities to America are not
The only guiding principle for engagement with
the US is to protect India’s commercial interest in its entirety,” he added.
As many as 3,500 Indian products from sectors
such as chemicals, medical devices and engineering get duty free access to the
US market under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), introduced in
The review can impact exports of those 3,500
Indian products to the US market as removal of duty benefits would make those
According to the USTR, the total US imports under
GSP in 2017 was 21.2 billion US Dollars, of which India was the biggest
beneficiary with 5.6 billion US Dollars, followed by Thailand ($4.2 billion)
and Brazil ($2.5 billion).
The bilateral trade between the countries has
increased to 64.52 billion US Dollars in 2016-17 from 62.11 billion US Dollars
in the previous fiscal.