June 1, 2019 / 8:45 AM / 5 months ago

India to continue to seek strong ties with U.S. despite Trump removing trade privileges

MUMBAI, June 1 (Reuters) - The Indian government said on Saturday it will continue to seek to build strong economic ties with the United States despite a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to end preferential trade treatment for India from June 5.

In a relatively tame response to the announcement from Washington on Friday, the Indian government said it was “unfortunate” that its attempts to resolve significant U.S. requests had not been accepted.

“India, like the U.S. and other nations shall always uphold its national interest in these matters,” the government said in a statement issued through India’s trade ministry.

The privileges come under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which had been allowing preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion a year into the U.S. from the South Asian nation. India is the biggest beneficiary of the GSP program.

The Indian government said that India viewed the issue as part of its ongoing economic relationship with the U.S. and “will continue to build on our strong ties with the US, both economic and people-to-people.”

It added: “We are confident that the two nations will continue to work together intensively for further growing these ties in a mutually beneficial manner.”

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal Edited by Martin Howell

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