Economy

India, US likely to announce bilateral trade package soon: Piyush Goyal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 21, 2019 Published on October 21, 2019

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal   -  THE HINDU

Need to work on a bilateral agreement that will go beyond the tinkering happening at present, Goyal says

India and the US are likely to announce their first set of trade agreements soon, as both countries have "almost resolved’’ the broad contours of the package, Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.

Both countries now want to look a much larger engagement in the coming days which could possibly lead to the announcement of a larger bilateral agreement, Goyal said speaking at the US India Strategic Partnership Forum’s Annual India Leadership Summit on Monday

“As US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer was caught up earlier when we met in the US with the Japanese negotiations and thereafter with Chinese discussions, the finalisation of our trade package got a little delayed. But the two countries had almost resolved the broad contours of what was going to announced. I don’t see any great difficulty in closing the gap on the first announcement…,” the Minister said.

Goyal added that both he and Lighthizer were clear that given the strong relationship US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, there was a huge potential that still needed to be tapped.

 “We both believe that India and the US should look at a much larger engagement in the coming days, possibly leading to the announcement of a bilateral agreement that will go beyond the mere tinkering that we are doing at present,” he said.

Trade deal

The Trump administration has been trying to work out a trade deal with India to get increased market access for a number of items such as mobile phones, high-end motorbikes such as Harley Davidsons, apples, almonds, dairy items as well as lower restrictions for medical equipment manufacturers.

India, on the other hand, wants Washington to restore Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for its exporters that was withdrawn earlier this year, roll-back of unilateral import duties imposed on aluminium and steel last year and market access for certain agricultural goods.

“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,” Goyal said.

India-US bilateral trade is projected to grow to $238 billon by 2025 from about $90 billion at present, acccording to estimates made by the USISPF. Sectors like defence trade, commercial aircrafts, oil and LNG, coal, machinery and electronics are areas of potential growth in US investments and commerce into India. Indian industry has an opportunity to promote automotive, pharmaceuticals, seafood, IT and travel services to the US market.

Goyal said that his Ministry was working to create a single window for investments into India and he welcomed innovative ideas and solutions for the creation of this single window. The Minister added that the government was also working to bring down the cost of logistics that have to be borne by manufacturing companies in India.

 

 

Published on October 21, 2019
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