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US open to reinstating GSP benefits to India

New Delhi: The US may allow preferential access to certain Indian products into its domestic market by reinstating the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme the Trump administration closed earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated as much.

“As we democracies have come to know, that we work out our disagreements. We bring them to the table honestly and fairly. And we’ll probably discuss the recent decision on the GSP programme,” Pompeo said at the India Ideas Summit of US-India Business Council in Washington on Wednesday.

India is the biggest beneficiary of the GSP programme under which the US allows preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion a year from developing countries. President Donald Trump removed New Delhi from the system on June 5.Pompeo would be in the Indian capital on June 24 to have what US Ambassador to India Kennneth Juster said “a productive set of meetings” to advance the US-India strategic partnership.

His visit comes ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and president Donald Trump during the G20 summit in Osaka on June 28.Giving a sneak preview of his talks in New Delhi, Pompeo said he would discuss data localisation regulations and the participation of Chinese company Huawei in India’s 5G telecommunication network — both a source of friction between the two countries.”We’ll also push for free flow of data across borders, not just to help American companies, but to protect data and secure consumers’ privacy.”And speaking of privacy, we are eager to help India establish secure communications networks including 5G networks as well,” Pompeo said, according to the transcript of the speech available here.

The US is open to dialogue to resolve trade differences with India, Pompeo said and hoped that “friends in India will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness of their own companies, their own businesses, their own people, and private sector companies.”

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