Topic Of The Day:-“No Zero-Sum Games: On India-U.S. Trade Hostilities”

India and the U.S. must work to halt trade hostilities urgently

There are alarm bells in India over a possible decision by the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences status. Under this, India is able to export about 2,000 product lines to the U.S. under zero tariff. The revocation of the GSP, which was first extended to India in 1976 as part of a global concession by the U.S. to help developing countries build their economies, will be a blow to Indian exporters, and the biggest in a series of measures taken by the Trump administration against India to reduce its trade deficit. President Donald Trump’s case on what he calls “unequal tariffs” from India rests on the trade relationship in favour of India: Indian exports to the U.S. in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion. The measures are in line with Mr. Trump’s campaign promises. On the matter of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, he spoke directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on at least three occasions, demanding that India zero out tariffs to match U.S. rates on Indian motorcycles. In March 2018, the U.S. began imposing tariffs on several Indian products, and in April, the USTR began a review of India’s GSP status, based on complaints of trade barriers from India it had received from the dairy industry and manufacturers of medical devices. In November the U.S. withdrew GSP status on at least 50 Indian products.In retaliation, India proposed tariffs of about $235 million on 29 American goods, but has put offimplementing these five times in the past year in the hope that a negotiated trade settlement will come through. The latest deadline expires on March 1. India has also attempted to address the trade deficit with purchase of American oil, energy and aircraft. There have been dozens of rounds of talks between officials over the past few months, but no breakthrough. U.S. officials say the decision on data localisation for all companies operating in India, and the more recent tightening norms for FDI in e-commerce have aggravated the situation. Both sides should work towards calling a halt to trade hostilities and speed up efforts for a comprehensive trade “package”, rather than try to match each concern product by product. The U.S. must realise that India is heading into elections, and offer more flexibility in the next few months. India must keep in mind that the larger, global picture is about U.S.-China trade issues, and if a trade deal with the U.S. is reached, India could be the biggest beneficiary of business deals lost by China. The visit of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to India this week will be watched not as much for substance, as for signals that New Delhi and Washington understand the urgency in breaking the deadlock.


1) denounce

Meaning : publicly declare to be wrong or evil(v).

Synonyms : accuse

Antonyms : applaud

Example :”the Assembly denounced the use of violence”

2) apparent

Meaning : clearly visible or understood; obvious(adj).

Synonyms : probable

Antonyms : unlikely

Example : “for no apparent reason she laughed”

3) revocation

Meaning : the official cancellation of a decree, decision, or promise(n).

Synonyms : repeal

Antonyms : approval

Example : “for those who break the law, revocation of their liquor licence may result”

4) concession

Meaning : a thing that is granted, especially in response to demands(n).

Synonyms : permit

Antonyms : denial

Example : “the government was unwilling to make any further concessions”

5) imposing

Meaning : grand and impressive in appearance.

Synonyms : imperial

Antonyms : common

Example : “an imposing 17th-century manor house”

6) implementing

Meaning : put (a decision, plan, agreement, etc.) into effect(v).

Synonyms : achieve

Antonyms : fail

Example : “the scheme to implement student loans”

7) negotiated

Meaning : obtain or bring about by discussion(v).

Synonyms : arrange

Antonyms : contend

Example : “he negotiated a new contract with the sellers”

8) aggravated

Meaning : (of an offence) made more serious by attendant circumstances(adj).

Synonyms : irritate

Antonyms : delight

Example : “aggravated burglary”

9) concern

Meaning : relate to; be about(v).

Synonyms : affair

Antonyms : pastime

Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”

10) suspected

Meaning : have an idea or impression of the existence, presence, or truth of (something) without certain proof(v).

Synonyms : imagined

Example : “if you suspect a gas leak, do not turn on an electric light”

11) preventive

Meaning : designed to keep something undesirable such as illness or harm from occurring(adj).

Synonyms : defending

Antonyms : depriving

Example : “preventive medicine”

12) enforcerTHE HINDU EDITORIAL : FEBRUARY 11, 2019

Meaning : a person or group that compels observance of or compliance with a law, rule, or obligation(n).

Synonyms : stickler

Antonyms : contradictor

Example : “the city police’s role as enforcers of traffic rules will increase”