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‘India’s trade outlook fragile due to tension with US’

IANS

New Delhi

India’s near-term trade outlook is fragile as its retaliatory tariffs on US products come amid a global slowdown, a report said.

Trade deficit remained elevated in AMay and widened to $15.36 billion from $15.33 billion in April and a comparable $14.62 billion the same month last year.

“The near term outlook for trade looks fragile with President Donald Trump terminating a beneficial trade treatment accorded to India for a developing nation. Also, the recent imposition of retaliatory tariffs by Indian economy to US decision comes at a time when global economic growth rate is projected to slow down.. ,” the Centrum report said.

“Both the actions add further woes to India’s trade position, that is already struggling against the prevalent headwinds from slowing global demand,” it added.

However, Crisil said it believes the withdrawal of benefits under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) from June 5, as announced by the US earlier, will have limited impact on India’s overall export trade.

“In calendar 2018, India’s goods and services trade with the US totalled $142.1 billion of which, exports were $83.2 billion. Within exports, that under GSP is estimated to be 7.5-7.8 per cent, which translates into $260 million of levies saved, tantamount to a 4 per cent duty benefit,” Crisil said.

It added that the gems and jewellery sector could be moderately impacted by the withdrawal of GSP, pharmaceuticals and textiles and apparel would be relatively unscathed.

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