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US lawmakers bat for India, seek more time to resolve duty-free trade issues
Apr 15, 2019

Two senior US senators, who head the bipartisan India caucus in the upper chamber of congress, joined Friday a growing demand for the US trade representative (USTR) to delay a presidential proclamation terminating duty-free benefits for some imports from India by at least 30 days.
 
The proclamation is due in a fortnight on May 4, at the end of a 60-day notice period that started March 4 when the White House notified US congress of the Trump administration’s intention to terminate India’s eligibility for the duty-free programme called the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
 
Senators John Cornyn, Republican, and Mark Warner, Democrat, urged the USTR, Robert Lighthizer, in a joint letter to delay the presidential proclamation for at least 30 days in order to move the negotiations beyond India’s elections.
 
They added; We believe that the election season may serve as a hindrance for our Indian counterparts in negotiating and concluding a deal on difficult political issues.If another round of negotiations during the election season does not address the outstanding issues, we would ask you to consider delaying the issuance of the presidential proclamation.
 
Representative George Holding, the Republican co-chair of the India Caucus in the House of Representatives, made a similar appeal to the USTR in an earlier letter for delaying the proclamation till after the elections. It is important that we have a non-political conversation about our differences and how we can best move forward, and I am concerned that this is not the right time to address India’s GSP eligibility, he wrote.
    

Hindustan Times

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