Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Trump Tightens the Trade Clamps on India and Turkey

The Mercantilist Man
Combover man is at it again with his pre-Adam Smith mercantilist anti-trade policy initiatives

Trump has decided goods from India and Turkey should no longer be eligible for preferential, tariff-free access to the US market.

The Office of the US Trade Representative said in a statement late Monday from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that at the direction of  Trump, the United States intends to terminate India’s and Turkey’s designations as beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

India’s termination from GSP follows its failure to provide the United States with assurances that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors.  Turkey’s termination from GSP follows a finding that it is sufficiently economically developed and should no longer benefit from preferential market access to the United States market, according to the statement.

By statute, these changes may not take effect until at least 60 days after the notifications to Congress and the governments of India and Turkey, and will be enacted by a Presidential Proclamation, notes the Trade Office.

Under the United States GSP program, certain products can enter the United States duty-free if beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.  GSP criteria include, among others, respecting arbitral awards in favor of United States citizens or corporations, combating child labor, respecting internationally recognized worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection, and providing the United States with equitable and reasonable market access.  Countries can also be graduated from the GSP program depending on factors related to economic development.

From a free traders perspective, it is not that the GSP is a special privilege but that it is a move in the direction of free trade, while termination of the privilege is a move away from free trade.

All countries should be allowed the "privilege" of engaging in free trade with the people and corporations of the United States. That's how you raise the standard of living for the citizens of a country, not by some asinine mercantilist trade restrictions.


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