New Delhi: India's Commerce Minsiter Piyush Goyal on Thursday said India accepts the decision of the US to withdraw duty-free benefits to its exporters gracefully and will work towards making the exports competitive.
Briefing reporters after the meeting with exporters and state government representatives, Goyal said withdrawal of Generalized Systems of Preference (GSP) is not a matter of life and death for all exporters. "India is now evolving and moving out of the crutches that we thought we needed to export. India is no more an underdeveloped or least developed country that we will look at that kind of support. We believe we can be export competitive at our own strength or at the strength of our own comparative advantage," he said.
The US government withdrew GSP benefits to India that came into effect from 5 May.
"We also believe that in our development cycle, several countries were giving us support to help us move out of our problems faster. But since certain countries have chosen a different path, we accept it gracefully and we will re-orient ourselves to be competitive," Goyal added.
When asked whether India will impose the retaliatory tariffs against India, Goyal said, "You will get to know when the time comes."
India has repeatedly delayed the retaliatory tariffs announced on 29 US products against the increase in tariff on steel and aluminium by the US. With the current deadline ending on 16 June, Goyal has to decide whether India should now impose the tariff hikes on US products or not.
The US in March announced its decision to withdraw the preferential duty benefits named Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) to India after talks between the two sides broke down on 'disproportionate' demands by the US side. However, the US deferred implementing the GSP withdrawal given the ongoing general elections in India. This had raised hopes that the two sides may engage again to resolve the differences after Modi government took charge on last Thursday.