‘USTR report’ mentions India’s policies as trade restrictive

What is the News?

U.S. Trade Representative(USTR) has released a report titled “2021 President’s Trade Agenda and 2020 Annual Report”.

What are the Key Highlights of the USTR report?

The USTR report highlighted a few important updates on trade between India and the US in 2020. They are,

USTR report on Trade Relations:

  • The US continued to engage with India in 2020. The US try to resolve market access issues affecting US exporters. However, India’s policies still remain trade-restrictive.
  • According to the USTR report, the Make in India Initiative has impacted the bilateral trade relationship. As the initiative put emphasis on import substitution, it affected US exports directly.

USTR report on bilateral trade deal:

  • In 2019, the United States had terminated India’s eligibility under the Generalized System of Preferences(GSP) programme.
    • GSP: It is a preferential tariff system provided by developed countries to developing countries. It allows concessional low/zero-tariff imports from developing countries.
  • After the suspension of GSP benefits, the US and India had resumed talks aimed at producing a trade deal. The talks towards better market access outcomes have continued throughout 2020.
  • However, issues remain unresolved leaving inconclusive negotiations.

USTR report on Digital Service Tax(DST)

  • Recently, the USTR Section 301 report has called India’s digital service tax unreasonable or discriminatory.
  • The report has said that the investigation is ongoing on the impact of this tax on US companies.

Source: The Hindu

[Answered]Critically examine the impact of tagging of India as a developed nation by United States Trade Representative (USTR).

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