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Monday, July 2, 2007

US 'no' to duty-free import of Indian jewellery

Days after the collapse of G4 talks on the WTO, the US has withdrawn concessions given to imports on gold jewellery and brass lamps from India as well as auto parts from Brazil as part of a revision of trade sops given to developing countries.

The duty-free access was withdrawn under its annual review of generalised system of preferences (GSP) through a proclamation signed by US President George Bush yesterday.

The changes mean exporters of gold jewellery from India, the world’s largest producer, would now have to pay an import duty of 4 per cent. The move will impact close to $1.8 billion of jewellery exports to the US, which accounts for one-third of the total shipment of $5.21 billion.

The decision would also affect exports of brass lamps, hitting the handicraft sector struggling under the impact of a hike in the rupee value. The concessions were removed on imports that exceeded the new statutory threshold established by US Congress, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said.

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