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US move to end India trade benefit rattles Indonesia and Thailand

Trump demands market access from beneficiaries of tariff-free import program

A worker holds harvested chillies at a plantation in Pasir Datar Indah village near Sukabumi, in Indonesia's West Java province. Chillies are among the products waived for tariffs by the U.S.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to remove preferential tariff treatment for India and Turkey, the U.S. appears intent on widening its trade war, with Asian countries such as Indonesia and Thailand working behind the scenes to avoid a similar fate.

Statements issued on Monday by Trump and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that India is losing its status under the Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, as it has failed to assure Washington it will provide "equitable and reasonable access" to its markets, while Turkey graduated out of the program given its higher level of economic development.

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