Piyush Goyal, US Congressmen discuss ways of strengthening ties

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 16, 2019 Published on August 16, 2019

Piyush Goyal, Commerce and Industry Minister. File photo   -  PTI

Commerce Minister stresses on the growing trade, investment opportunities between the two nations

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met a delegation of US Congressmen here on Friday to discuss strengthening of Indo-US bilateral trade ties two days after US President Donald Trump hit out at India and China for claiming they were developing nations and taking advantage of WTO flexibilities.

“The US is our largest trade partner. We have to ensure that bilateral ties stay strong despite the hiccups.

“The meeting between the US Congressmen and the Commerce and Industry Minister stressed on the good relationship that both countries have shared for a long time and reinforced the need to work towards strengthening trade ties,” a government official told BusinessLine.

The delegation of US Congressmen and women included F James Sensenbrenner, Joe Wilson, Lois Frankel, George Holding and Julia Brownley.

The US Congress representatives pointed out that three million Indian Americans were making a substantial contribution to the US economy and various other walks of life in the country.

Goyal also spoke at the India-US Forum on Friday where he highlighted the growing trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

“I am confident of an exciting shared future with several new avenues of partnership and collaboration arising from our ongoing dialogue,” the Minister tweeted.

Trump’s charge

India, however, has not officially reacted to Trump’s allegation that it was no more a developing country and was taking advantage of the tag from the WTO. Developing countries at the WTO are beneficiaries of ‘special and differential treatment’ which entitles them to less onerous tariff reduction commitments compared to the developed world.

“There is no need for India to react to the US President’s statement on the country’s non-eligibility of developing country status.

“There are widely accepted determinants such as the per capita income of a nation and human development indicators that indicate otherwise,” the official said.

US and India’s trade ties have been strained for some time with Washington imposing unilateral duties on steel and aluminium exported from India last year and then withdrawing the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for Indian exports earlier this year.

New Delhi, on its part, imposed retaliatory duties on 28 items imported from the US which includes apples, walnuts and chemicals.

Published on August 16, 2019
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