India can handle global trade crossfire: Goyal

India can handle global trade crossfire: Goyal

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal (PTI Photo)

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said India is well placed to handle the "crossfire" resulting from the global trade war on the strength of the country's economy.

At a time when the world is witnessing trade wars across nations, India too will be impacted.

"Obviously, in a situation when the world is seeing trade wars across nations, across continents, India will come in the crossfire. But then its a crossfire which we can handle," the minister said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.

The global trade war has been triggered by the US after it raised duties on imports, including aluminum and steel. Other countries, including India, too retaliated by raising import duty on goods from the US.

The minister said irrespective of the world trade situation, India is looking at ways to "encash' opportunities to further exports.

The minister further said India is competent to handle the international trade situation.

Goyal also dismissed contentions that India's exports have been hit badly after the US has terminated its Preferential Trade Treatment or GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) to India from June 5 this year.

"I would like to submit that the total impact of GSP is under USD 250-269 million in a year and for a country of size and strength of India, I can assure members (of the House) that it will not have any significant impact. India can handle the situation," he said when asked if India was discussing the issue with the US.

GSP, the minister said was unilateral, non-obligatory concession given by the US to India as a developing country.

"Some of the demands that were raised in India were such that India could not yield. I think national sovereignty and national interest is paramount," he said when asked if the government would initiate further negotiations in this regard with the US.

He further said India will continue to negotiate with all countries, including the US, but it will not be at the cost of sovereignty.

On the country's exports, Goyal said it increased significantly during the last fiscal and in the current year also, the outward shipments are showing increasing trends.

He further said India has fortified its foreign exchange reserves and the government is taking pro-active measures to promote exports.

On a question related to the forthcoming visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to India, Goyal said there will be discussions on several issues.

Pompeo will be visiting India from June 25-27. 

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