March 25, 2019

Don't blame Donald Trump for Indian protectionism

In this article for Mint, Resident Senior Fellow, Vivek Dehejia analyses the likely impact of US withdrawal of tariff concessions to India under the Generalised System of Preferences. 


He describes how it is convenient to buy in on the current narrative surrounding the issue such as the GSP covering only a small proportion of India's total exports to the US and Trump being a protectionist.  He says ".. the upshot of this widely held narrative is that India has little to fault itself for and Trump, as ever, is the villain of the piece. This is convenient, overly simplistic, and self-serving."  


The missing narrative he argues is the Indian government push for protectionism. "Yet, India’s trade policy, too, under the Narendra Modi-led government, has been far from coherent and can best be characterized by a turn back to protectionism after a quarter century or more of trade liberalization."


He further adds "It could be argued that, given Trump’s protectionist bent, India’s GSP access to the US market might have earned American ire even in the absence of protectionist backsliding by India. As a counterfactual scenario can never be observed, this cannot be ruled out as impossible, but it strikes me as less than probable. "


Read the full article here. 

Topic : Transitions / In : OP-EDS
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