Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) said that the introduction of the bill seeking to extend the validity of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in the US House of Representatives recently has reassured the continuity of the US policies focused on the developing and least developed countries.
“ India has a high stake in the continuity of GSP since nearly 10% of its total exports to the US are through the GSP route. In absolute terms, in 2016, India exported US$ 4.7 billion under the GSP against a total merchandize export of US$ 41.6 billion. The likely rollover of the GSP will ensure that India can avail this facility at least for the next three years,” says Mr. Vasant Subramanyan, National President, IACC.
Importantly, GSP period had expired on 31st December 2017 and there was a speculation that under Trump Administration’s stress on America First Policy, this facility, which allows a select developing countries export some products duty free to the US, may get eclipsed. Now the Bill proposing to extend the program for another three years was introduced the other day by the trade sub-committee Chairman Dave Reichert, among others, clearing the doubt about the possible scrapping of the incentives. Incidentally, India is one of the major beneficiaries of this program.
These developments have to be seen against the recent statement of the Trump Administration that no major overhaul would take place in the H1-B visa regime and its reassurance that the merit would be the major consideration for granting short term visas and Green cards. There is pressure from some of the members of the US Congress on the Trump Administration to relax the stringent rules including disallowing the spouses of the short term visa holders to take up the works. “These are positive developments are indicative of an emergence of a new equation between the two countries, based on trust and recognition of mutual concerns and challenges,” Mr. Subramanyan pointed out.