Talks On India-U.S. Trade Deal On In Full Swing Ahead Of Trump’s India Visit
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Howdy Modi Community Summit in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Sept. 22, 2019. (Photographer: Scott Dalton/Bloomberg)

Talks On India-U.S. Trade Deal On In Full Swing Ahead Of Trump’s India Visit

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Officials of India and the United States are engaged in hectic parleys for the proposed trade deal between the two nations, ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s India visit later this month, an official said on Wednesday.

But, as of now, there is no clarity if the India-U.S. trade deal will be signed during Trump’s India visit on Feb. 24-25, the official cited above said.

Multiple rounds of talks have taken place between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in the past few weeks over the phone. The two countries are negotiating a trade package to iron out certain issues and promote two-way commerce.

India is demanding exemption from high duties imposed by the U.S. on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to certain domestic products under their Generalised System of Preferences GSP, and greater market access for its products from sectors like agriculture, automobile, auto components and engineering.

On the other hand, U.S. wants greater market access for its farm and manufacturing products, dairy items and medical devices, data localisation, and cut on import duties on some information and communication technology products. The U.S. has also raised concerns over high trade deficit with India.

Also Read: In Era of Crumbling Trade Deals, India and Indonesia Get Closer

In 2018-19, India's exports to the U.S. stood at $52.4 billion, while imports were $35.5 billion. India’s trade surplus with the U.S. dipped from $21.3 billion in 2017-18 to $16.9 billion in 2018-19.

Also Read: ‘Kem Chho, Trump!’: ‘Howdy Modi’-Style Event Planned In Ahmedabad

India received foreign direct investment worth $3.13 billion from the U.S. in 2018-19, higher than $2 billion in 2017-18.

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