US Ambassador Kenneth Juster on Thursday said, the generalised system of preferences (GSP), e-commerce legislation and the Data localisation were not discussed during the talks between India and the United States.
The United States had threatened to remove the tariff exemptions also known as GSP after India introduced e-commerce and data storage rules for their legislation that were hurting US firms, Reuters reported last week.
India’s new rules on e-commerce that restrict the way Amazon.com and Walmart-backed Flipkart do business in a rapidly growing online market set to touch $200 billion (approximately Rs. 14 lakh crores) by 2027, triggered the latest downturn in trade between the two countries. This came on top of a drive that forced global card payment companies such as Visa and Mastercard to move their data to India and impose of higher tariffs on electronic products such as smartphones, left the trade package between the two sides in tatters.
the new rules announced by India in December for the e-commerce sector banned companies such as Amazon and Flipkart from signing exclusive deals with sellers, restricted their ability to offer discounts and barred them from selling products via vendors.
This move disrupted the product listings on India Amazon’s website and forced it to change its business structures. Walmart, Amazon as well as the US government, had lobbied against the move, Reuters reported earlier.
These new rules, coming ahead of a general election, were seen as a bid by Indian Prime Minister Modi to placate small traders, who had been complaining for years about business practices of large e-commerce players, that affected their trade.