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India, US to hold trade talks Friday

India, US to hold trade talks Friday
July 11
21:53 2019

India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: Following the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on the margins of the G20 Summit in Osaka, trade delegations from India and the US will be holding talks Friday, a senior official here said Thursday. “I understand that informal meetings are taking place today,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at his weekly media briefing here. “Formal talks will take place tomorrow.”

Kumar said that in Osaka, Modi and Trump “had a very good meeting and naturally trade was also discussed”. “It was decided in that meeting that officials from both sides will meet to resolve all outstanding issues related to trade,” he said. Trade talks between the two countries slowed down after the US rolled back export incentives from India under Washington’s Generalized System of Preference program with effect from June 5.

From June 16, India imposed high customs duties on 28 US products in retaliation to customs duties imposed by America on certain steel and aluminum products. There are certain irritants which both countries want to sort out to push the bilateral trade.

The US wants greater market access for its dairy products and cut in customs duties in information and communications technology products. The American companies have also raised concerns over price cap on certain medical devices by India. “Now there are quite a few issues on the table which you are aware. Our approach is to engage with them very constructively, in a very positive manner,” Kumar said in his briefing.

The US side is being led by Assistant Trade Representative in charge of South Asia Christopher Wilson, while the Indian side is being led by an additional secretary-level officer from the Ministry of Commerce. “I think it is important to keep in mind when we engage on this issue that the trajectory of the relationship remains positive, we have to keep in mind the bigger picture and within that big picture try to address all the issues which are on the table,” Kumar said.

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