Ahead of Trump’s visit, PM Modi’s Make in India push poses difficulty to US-India trade talks

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Updated: Feb 22, 2020 3:34 PM

Some of the key demands of the US from India are increased access to India’s dairy market and boost of exports of items such as frozen poultry.

US President Donald Trump is all set to make his maiden visit to India.

With India’s stance over protectionism gaining momentum, there are growing difficulties to trade talks with the US. Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s India visit, American officials said that while the country will continue with the trade talks, Indian tariff proposals which are aimed at strengthening the country’s domestic manufacturing under PM Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative will make trade talks even more difficult, Reuters reported. Earlier, Richard M Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, CSIS, told Financial Express Online that President Trump will push for more market access of India even as Indian Prime Minister focuses on Make in India. 

“India has been closing the market to imports pretty steadily since Prime Minister Modi took office. This year’s Union Budget, for instance, proposes customs duty hikes in over 60 product groups,” he said. India and the US are at loggerheads over some issues and some of these issues are still expected to get resolved during President Trump’s maiden India visit. 

What America wants from India

Some of the key demands of the US from India are increased access to India’s dairy market and boost of exports of items such as frozen poultry, dairy and farm goods like berries etc. America also wants removal of tariffs on medical devices that are made in the US. India currently levies about 50% duty on some of Harley Davidson motorcycles models which is a major pain point for the US. Also, the US wants a withdrawal of retaliatory tariffs on 28 products which are originating or exported from the United States. 

What India wants from the US

India wants an increased export of its perishable farm produce such as mangoes and grapes. The country also seeks a removal of 25% and 10% duties on import of steel and aluminium products.

“We do want to make sure that we get this balance right. We want to address a lot of concerns and we’re not quite there yet,” an official with the US government said recently, adding that US President Trump is expected to discuss these concerns. 

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