India-US Current Affairs - 2019
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President Trump notified the Congress his intent to terminate trade benefits for both India and Turkey under the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) eligibility criteria.
India and GSP
- About 2,000 products, including auto components and textiles, can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing country meet the eligibility criteria.
- India was the largest beneficiary of the GSP programme in 2017 with $5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status.
Why the US is planning to withdraw GSP for India?
- President Trump has accused India of failing to ensure the US of “equitable and reasonable” access to its markets. The US is pressing India to reduce US trade deficits and has repeatedly called out India for high tariffs.
- Withdrawal of GSP is part of the President Trumps plan to redress what it considers to be unfair trading relationships.
India has sought talks with the US to avoid the withdrawal of the trade benefits under the GSP. India has offered a trade package to the US which promises of about Rs 35,000 crore annually in oil and gas imports from the US and another Rs 1,00,000 lakh crore in defence orders in the coming years.
Air Forces of India and US began their 12-day joint exercise “Ex Cope India-2018” in West Bengal. It is fourth edition in series of bilateral joint exercise held by Air Forces of two nations conducted in India. This year for first time exercise will be held at two Air Force bases in West Bengal’s Kalaikunda and Panagarh.
This edition of exercise is aimed at providing operational exposure to air force personnel of both countries and undertake mutual exchange of best practices for enhancing operational capability. It will be focused on enhancing US-Indian mutual cooperation and building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment. It will showcase US and India’s efforts and commitment to free and open Indo-Pacific region. US Air Force is participating with 12 F15 C/D, 3 C-130. Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating with Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, C-130J and AWACS aircraft.
Cope India is series of international Air Force exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United States Air Force (USAF) conducted on and over Indian soil. The first such exercise was conducted at IAF air force station in Gwalior from February 2004. The exercise included flight tests, practice and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation. The exercise has evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises. The exercise was repeated in 2005, 2006, 2009 and was last held in 2010.