Trump administration strips India from special trade status
WASHINGTON: The Trump administration announced that it was stripping India of a special status that exempts billions of dollars from American tariffs of its products, part of a deepening clash over India’s market protection.
The administration said that it would apply to India tariffs on solar panel and washer announced last year by President Trump, suspending an exemption granted to some developing countries.
The notice claimed that India had not given “fair and reasonable access to its markets” to the United States. As of June 5, the White House said it would end India’s preferential market access to the United States.
The measure will hit some Indian exporters of products such as textiles, jewelry, auto parts and agricultural products, and exacerbate tensions between the U.S. and a country described by the Trump administration as an ally against China.
The Indian government, which is in transition as Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his second term, had no immediate comment on the termination of preferential trade status, which the Trump administration had threatened for months.
But Mr. Trump’s move could set off yet another trade war with an allied country.
India has repeatedly delayed its own promised tariffs on a variety of American goods, including almonds, apples and finished metal products, seeking a broader trade deal with the US. With its own tariffs, the South Asian country could now move forward.
The two sides have been at an impasse for months. American negotiators grew alarmed by India’s increasingly protectionist stance, especially in technology, where it recently changed the rules to favor local e-commerce companies over Amazon and Flipkart, a major e-commerce site controlled by Walmart.