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Protest proposed GSP withdrawal, IDCA urges retailers
Withdrawing jewellery imports from the GSP program will add a 6 per cent duty to significant portion of jewelry products purchased by U.S. consumers
By: Diamond World News Service
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Aug 26 2006 12:00AM
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Reference: 507  

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THE Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association (IDCA) has urged jewellery retailers to protest against the proposed removal of Indian diamonds from the purview of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The GSP listing by the US helped India as our inclusion in the program made Indian jewellery less costly and hence more affordable to the importers in the US. The jewellery retailers need to rally together and urge the United States Trade Representative (USTR) before the September 5 deadline to continue the trade benefits granted to Indian jewelry manufacturers under the GSP program and not delete their presence in the list as rumoured. The GSP agreement is up for renewal at the end of 2006, but there appears to be considerable support among members of Congress for removing or reducing many countries benefits.

Reports mention that members of IDCA would be heading to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the renewal of an agreement that allows duty-free imports of specified products, including diamonds and jewellery, from developing countries. IDCA issued specific impact figures and urged US jewellery retailers and consumers to help, stating they could face serious economic hardships if a longstanding trade agreement with India, Brazil and some other trade partners is revoked.

IDCA says withdrawing jewellery imports from the GSP program would add a 6 per cent duty to a significant portion of jewellery products purchased by US consumers.
Consumers who are already facing rising gold, diamond and oil prices, and feeling the effects of a softening US dollar, may see the retail prices for jewelry increase 15 to 20 percent, with disastrous effects on the retail market.

Concerned retailers are asked to e-mail the United USTR urging the US government to maintain the GSP status granted India, Brazil and 11 other trading partners. Emails should be sent before September 5 to:FR0052@USTR.EOP.GOV. The subject line should read: "2006 GSP Eligibility and CNL Waiver Review." For additional information on GSP visit www.tradepartnership.com

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