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U.S. reviewing trade preferences for India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

(Reuters) - The is reviewing the eligibility of India, and for a programme that allows duty-free imports of certain goods, the said on Thursday.

USTR said it launched the reviews over concerns and were not complying with rules of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme on market access, and was violating GSP rules on worker rights.

"We hope that India, Indonesia, and will work with us to address the concerns that led to these new reviews," Deputy U.S. Trade said.

has taken a hard line on trade, vowing to slap tariffs on countries that he says use unfair trade practices.

The review comes as Trump has threatened some $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to try to force changes in China's industrial policies. accuses Chinese firms of stealing trade secrets of U.S. companies and forcing them into joint ventures to acquire their technology. denies this charge.

The ran a $375 billion goods trade deficit with last year, while the 2017 U.S. deficits reached $23 billion with India, $13 billion with and $234 million with Kazakhstan, according to data.

In October, USTR announced it would assess the eligibility of countries in the GSP programme, which provides duty-free treatment for goods from about 120 poor and developing countries.

The USTR said India's review is partially based on petitions filed by the U.S. dairy and medical device industries.

"has implemented a wide array of trade barriers that create serious negative effects on U.S. commerce," the USTR statement said.

Indonesia's review is based on concerns over its compliance with the GSP programme's services and investment criterion, it said.

A petition from the AFL-CIO U.S. labour federation is the basis for review. The AFL-CIO alleges "has not taken steps to afford internationally recognised worker rights," USTR said.

is the largest GSP beneficiary at $5.6 billion, is fourth at $2 billion and Kazahkstan is 12th at $145 million, USTR said.

Bolivia, Ecuador, Georgia, Iraq, Thailand, and are undergoing previously announced GSP reviews, USTR said.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by and David Gregorio)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 02:47 IST