India’s apparel exports to the United States after the removal of duty concessions under the generalized system of preferences (GSP) programme of the United States have witnessed a rise of 5 per cent compared to the same period last year when the duty benefits were applicable, textiles minister Smriti Irani informed parliament upper house yesterday.

US President Donald Trump in July 2019 terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the GSP programme after determining that it has not assured the United States that it will provide ‘equitable and reasonable access’ to its markets earlier this year.

“Balance of apparel trade was in favour of India by $4 billion during 2018,” an official release quoted Irani as saying.

She also said the Indian textile industry is subject to provisions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM), which stipulates that if a developing country member’s exports of a product have reached a share of at least 3.25 per cent of world trade of that product for two consecutive calendar years, it will be considered as export competitive in that product.

“Further, export subsidies on such products shall be gradually phased out over a period of eight years. As per this provision, India is obligated to phase out subsidies which are export contingent,” Irani added.