US May Restore GSP Benefits To India

New Delhi, Nov 13: | Updated: Nov 14 2003, 05:30am hrs
Indias trade with the US has increased steadily during the past five years. In the first five months of this fiscal (April-August 03), Indias exports to the US are estimated at $5.47 billion against $5.02 billion in the same period last year, recording a 8.18 per cent growth, as per the the latest available data.

During the last fiscal (02-03), Indias exports to the US at $10.85 billion notched up a healthy 27.51 per cent growth over the $8.51 billion registered in the previous corresponding period. The share of Indias exports to the US out of its global exports has been recorded at 20.78 per cent during this period. It was 19.43 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the commerce and industry ministry in an official release has described as baseless reports that Betsey Stillman, senior US trade representative official, informed Indian authorities in New Delhi that Washington was having second thoughts on restoration of the generalised system of preferences (GSP) benefit to India on the items on which it was withdrawn in 1992.

These reports had further indicated that this was to signal Washingtons displeasure with Indias opposition at the Cancun ministerial to the level of farm subsidies maintained by the US.

The ministry has said that during a meeting with Indian officials and Betsey Stillman, the US side did not communicate any such views. In fact, the indication was that they were positively looking at the restoration of GSP benefit to India, the ministry asserted.