US ready to iron out trade row with India in a ‘friendly spirit’: Pompeo

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on June 26, 2019

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting, in New Delhi on June 26, 2019.   -  PTI

Critical to rein in oil prices and curb terrorism, says US Secretary of State

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said here on Wednesday that Washington is prepared to work with New Delhi to sort out bilateral trade skirmishes and address India’s concerns on energy security in the backdrop of American sanctions against Iran.

“Great friends are bound to have disagreements. The US has been clear that we want greater market access and trade-barrier removal. Today, I addressed these differences in the spirit of friendship. And the two of us will be able to see a good outcome,” Pompeo said at a press briefing following his bilateral meeting with Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar. Pompeo also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The US recently withdrew the Generalised System of Preferences benefit offering duty-free access to Indian exporters for certain products, accusing India of ‘unfair market access’. Two weeks later, India imposed duties on 28 American goods as a tit-for-tat for penal duties imposed on its steel and aluminium by the US last year.

Meeting with Jaishankar

Jaishankar hinted at the need for greater maturity in handling outstanding issues. “The sign of a mature relationship is our ability to negotiate and find a common ground. Perhaps that has not been as effective in the recent past. But I think both of us are convinced that we need to tell our governments they need to try harder and make sure it happens,” he said.

He and Pompeo also shared perspectives on the escalating tension between Iran and the US, Jaishankar said. “It is important for us that global energy supply remains affordable and predictable. And I think that is a concern that Secretary Pompeo was suddenly very receptive to,” he said.

Pompeo, however, was quick to add: “We also know that Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. Indian people have suffered from terror. I think there is a shared understanding on that.”

The US was India’s top export destination in 2018-19 with shipments worth $52.55 billion. It imported goods worth $35.55 billion from the country.


Also read: India imposes higher customs duty on 28 US products


Published on June 26, 2019

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