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1. The following are excerpts from an AFP/Reuters news report dated March 5, 2019 under the headline "US to scrap India and Turkey's preferential trade status".|
US President Donald Trump moved to end Washington's preferential trade treatment for India and Turkey, affecting billions in exports. India has failed to assure the US on "equitable" access to Indian markets, Trump said.
India and Turkey are set to lose their preferential trade treatment with the US, according to a letter sent by US President Donald Trump to congressional leaders on Monday.
"I am taking this step because ... I have determined that India has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India," he said.
Washington intends to terminate Turkey's preferential status because it is "sufficiently economically developed" and no longer qualifies, according to the US Trade Representative's office.
The trade officials also accused New Delhi of deploying "a wide array of trade barriers that create serious negative effects on United States commerce," echoing Trump's letter to US lawmakers.
The move can only take effect 60 days after the notifications to Congress and the Indian government, and it also requires a presidential proclamation, the Office said.
Washington's Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program allows $5.6 billion (€4.94 billion) worth of Indian exports to enter the United States duty free. US officials said trade deficit with India reached $27.3 billion in 2017.... (End excerpts)
2. It seems that Donald Trump's "trade massacre" is continuing unabated. Don't think that he will halt his trade war after “finishing off” India and Turkey. There will be more targets on the way till "America becomes Great Again'. The "trade massacre" is reminiscent of the brutal slaughter by a notorious pirate chief nicknamed "Captain Shrimp Roe" in one of my political satires. Excerpts follow:
Middle-aged man: I came from a remote pirate stronghold which was besieged by government troops, I think, about a week ago. After a fierce battle, the pirate chief nicknamed Captain Shrimp Roe and 19 other pirates managed to escape from the island in a small boat. Before boarding the boat, Captain Shrimp Roe gave an order that nobody, except himself and two other pirate lords, was allowed to carry weapons onboard.
On the way to another island, a storm appeared out of nowhere and the boat was tossed about in the huge waves. Captain Shrimp Roe ordered the other two pirate lords to draw their swords, saying: "To put it simply, we are standing at the crossroads of immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift ourselves to new heights above the waves or let ourselves suck into the maelstrom of disrepair. As the chief of the pirates, I will always put our gang first.
In order to survive the storm, we have to reduce the load on the boat. Both of you have to force the unarmed men to jump into the sea. You should know how to deal with them if they put up stubborn resistance.”
Priest: So you were one of the unarmed pirates thrown overboard to lighten the boat, but you are lucky enough to survive in the end.
Middle-aged man: No, I am not an ordinary pirate but a pirate lord. As I was third in the leadership lineup, I had to obey Captain Shrimp Roe's command. The other pirate lord and I had no choice but help him slay all those unarmed pirates who refused to jump overboard.
Priest: Please tell me how you end up drifting in the sea.
Middle-aged man: At first, I thought the bloodshed was over with only three men remained onboard. Captain Shrimp Roe, however, said: "It's not over because the storm is not over. As a human, I will always put myself first, just like you, as humans, will always, and should always, put yourselves first."
Priest: I suppose you and the other pirate lord had engaged in a life-and-death struggle with Captain Shrimp Roe before you ended up drifting in the sea.
Middle-aged man: In the final battle, three of us stood on the boat with our swords drawn. The other two were standing at each end of the boat, while I was the unfortunate one to stand between them. Captain Shrimp Roe told me: "My dearest best friend, I can't bear to kill you with my own hands. Among the three of us, you are the least-skilled in swordsmanship, but you are the best swimmer of the gang. Hence you have a better chance of survival if you choose to jump overboard than to die under my sword."
While I was hesitating whether to swim or fight, I did not notice that he was inching towards me. Suddenly he gave me a kick and I fell overboard. I let go of my sword, and swam as hard as I could to stay atop the huge waves. As I drifted further and further away from the boat, the last thing I heard was the noise of clashing swords, shouting and screaming.
Priest: Do you know who the final victor is?
Middle-aged man: God knows. I was fortunate enough to cling to a piece of driftwood in the choppy seas. I was in a semi-conscious state, losing all sense of time. When I felt my body hitting something hard, I found myself lying here. I suppose I have been washed up ashore after drifting for several days in the sea. I was so exhausted that I fell into a deep slumber until I felt your warm hand on my shoulder. (End excerpts)