Washington: Days after the collapse of G4 talks on WTO, the US has withdrawn concessions given to imports on gold jewellery and brass lamps from India as well as auto parts from Brazil as part of a revision of trade sops given to developing countries.
The duty-free access was withdrawn under its annual review of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) through a proclamation signed by US President George Bush on 28 June.
The changes mean exporters of gold jewellery from India, the world’s largest producer, would now have to pay an import duty of 4%. The move will impact close to $1.8 billion of jewellery exports to US, which accounts for one-third of the total shipment of $5.21 billion.
The decision would also affect exports of brass lamps, hitting the handicraft sector struggling under the impact of hike in rupee value.
The concessions were removed on imports that exceeded the new statutory threshold in 2006 established by US Congress, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said in a statement.
Brazil has also been hit by the withdrawal of GSP benefits on brake, brake parts and ferrozirconium. Besides, gold jewellery from Thailand, wiring harnesses from the Philippines, and methanol from Venezuela were also excluded.
Incidentally, India and Brazil are leaders of the G20 group of developing countries and are part of G4, which also includes the US and EU. Talks between the four key WTO players collapsed on 19 June in Potsdam, Germany, making the conclusion of Doha Round of trade negotiations very unlikely.