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India didn't assure equitable, reasonable access to market; US will end Preferential Trade Status: Trump

India didn't assure equitable, reasonable access to market; US will end Preferential Trade Status: Trump

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 01 Jun 2019, 06:01 am

Washington, Jun 1 (IBNS/UNI): US President Donald Trump has announced his country will end Preferential Trade Status for India which "didn't assure the US equitable and preferential access to market", media reports said.

Trump said India's designation as a beneficiary developing country under the preferential trade programme will end from Jun 5.

"I have determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, 2019," Trump said in a White House statement, citing the Trade Act of 1974.

On Mar 4, Trump had announced to end India's designation as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme.

Under the GSP programme, around 2,000 products can enter the US without any duty.

India was the biggest gainer under the programme with an import to the US worth $5.7 billion.

However, India said the withdrawal of the status will not impact much as the benefits were worth $190 million.

As of 2017, some 5.6 billion US dollars' worth of Indian imports enjoys duty-free status in accordance with the GSP, making the country the biggest beneficiary of the program, data from the USTR's office showed.

In the statement, the US president also said he would remove India from the list of developing country World Trade Organization members exempt from tariffs on certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) products -- including modules, laminates, panels, and building-integrated materials -- and large residential washers.

Trump, who has complained about US trade deficit with India, issued a presidential proclamation last year removing 50 items from a list of Indian products subject to the GSP, effective from Nov 1, 2018. Washington has a 21-billion-dollar trade deficit with New Delhi in 2018, according to the US Census Bureau.

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm