Developed By: iNFOTYKE
New Delhi: India and the US have almost resolved broad issues of the proposed trade package and an announcement is expected soon, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
He said that the two countries should look at a much larger engagement in the days ahead, possibly even leading to an announcement for a bilateral agreement which will go beyond near tinkering which “we are doing at present”.
The minister said that trade negotiations are complex in nature but things are going smoothly between the two countries.
“We have almost resolved the broad contours of what we are going to announce. I do not see any great difficulty in closing the gap on the first announcement,” he said here at a USISPF programme.
He said that probably by now, both the sides could have announced something, but certain other engagements including the US talks with Japan and China delayed the announcement.
“Both I and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have understood that we have huge potential which we still need to tap…We will hopefully come out with a first set of agreements soon.
“But we both believe that India and the US should look at a much larger engagement in the days ahead, possibly even leading to an announcement for a bilateral agreement which will go beyond near tinkering which we are doing at present,” Goyal added.
When asked about the visit of USTR here, he said as soon as both the sides are in a position to come to a reasonable conclusion, USTR would visit India.
The minister said things are on the right track and India is looking to the US for technology, innovation, skills and quality education. India on the other hand offers an attractive market to US businesses and skilled labour that can add value to American companies, he added.
Further, he said that the ministry is working to create a single window for investments into India.
The two countries are negotiating a trade package to iron out issues and promote the two-way commerce. The US has been pressuring India to lower duties on its products and address the trade gap.
India is demanding exemption from high duties imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to certain domestic products under their Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), greater market access for its products from sectors, including agriculture, automobile, auto components and engineering.
On the other hand the US wants greater market access for its farm and manufacturing products, dairy items and medical devices, and cut on import duties on some ICT products.
The US has also raised concerns over high trade deficit with India.
In 2018-19, India’s exports to the US stood at USD 52.4 billion, while imports were USD 35.5 billion. Trade deficit dipped from USD 21.3 billion in 2017-18 to USD 16.9 billion in 2018-19.
India received FDI worth USD 3.13 billion from the US in 2018-19, higher than USD 2 billion in 2017-18. (PTI)