US warns India against retaliation rights for scrapping trade privileges

NEW DELHI: Every Retribution Price By India In Response To The Planned Withdrawal Of Some Trade Privileges By The United States Will Not Be" Appropriate" Under WTO Rules, US Trade Secretary Wilbur Ross Tuesday Warned.

The Comments Made On A News Channel During A Trip To India's Capital, Come As Trade Ties Between The United States And China Sausages. The United States Is India's Second Biggest Trade Partner After China.

Indian Officials Have Suggested The Prospect Of Higher Import Duties On More Than 20 US Goods As President Donald Trump Presses Ahead With A Plan Announced In March To End The Generalized System Of Preferences (GSP) For India.

India Is The Largest Beneficiary Of The GSP, Which Allows Preferential Duty-free Imports Or Up To $ 5.6 Billion From The South Asian Nation.

" Any Time A Government Makes A Decision Adverse To Another One, You Will Have To Anticipate Consequences," Ross Said." We Don't Believe Under The WTO Rules That Retaliation By India Would Be Appropriate."

He Added That India's New Rules On E-commerce, Which Bar Companies From Selling Products Through Firms In Which They Have An Equity Interest, And Data Localization Have Been Discriminatory For US Firms Such As Walmart Inc And Mastercard Inc.

" So The American Companies Are Showing Very Good Will And A Very Cooperative Attitude Towards 'Make In India' And The Other Programs," He Said, Referring To A Manufacturing Push By Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

" But There's A Limit To How Far The Discriminatory Behavior Can Go. And Our Job Is To Try To Get A Level, More Level Playing Field."

Earlier, Ross Told A Business Conference That Localization Rules And Price Caps On Medical Devices Imported From The United States Were Barriers To Trade But That New Delhi Was Committed To Tackling Them After General Elections.

" We Applaud India's Commitment To Addressing Some Of These Barriers Once The Government Is Re-formed, Probably Starting In The Month Of June," Ross Said.

" Our Role Is To Eliminate Barriers To US Companies Operating Here, Including Data Localization Restrictions That Actually Weave Data Security And Increase The Cost Of Doing Business."

India's 39-day General Election Ends On May 19, And Votes Will Be Counted Four Days Later.

Ross With His Indian Counterpart Suresh Prabhu On Monday, After Which New Delhi Said The Two Countries Would Regularly Commit To Resolve Outstanding Trade Issues.

Last Year, Global Payments Companies Such As Mastercard, Visa And American Express Unsuccessfully Lobbies India To Relax Central Bank Rules Requiring All Payment Data On Domestic Transactions To Be Stored Locally.

" As President Trump Said, Trade Relationships Should Be Based, And Must Be Based, On Fairness And Reciprocity," Ross Added." But Currently, US Businesses Face Significant Market Access Barriers In India."