Milk swirl.
March 5, 2019

Preferential Trade Status for India Terminated

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The Trump Administration has terminated long-standing preferential trade status with India, citing India’s failure to provide “equitable and reasonable access to its market” in return and comply with other provisions of the status.


Both the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)  welcomed the news. India has denied market access to U.S. dairy products since 2003, citing numerous and shifting reasons for that denial, say USDEC and NMPF officials.


USDEC and NMPF had submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in 2017 to utilize Congressional-mandated compliance requirements to modify India’s preferential trade status. In those comments, USDEC and NMPF estimated the United States could export $30 to $100 million in dairy products to India once it establishes a market for U.S. dairy products.


“The U.S. dairy industry strongly welcomes this enforcement action by the USTR and hopes that it sets the precedent that unfair trade practices will not be tolerated, and compliance enforcement measures will be utilized when warranted,” says Tom Vilsack, USDEC chairman and CEO.


“For 16 years, India has enjoyed unilateral access to U.S. markets while flaunting their obligation to provide fair market access mandated under the Generalized System of Preferences program, and harming American dairy farmers in the process,” adds Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO.