The two sides are negotiating a trade package to promote two-way commerce.
Issues pertaining to medical devices, agriculture, and restoration of export incentives by America for domestic players would figure in the meeting of trade ministers of India and the US in Washington, an official said. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is leading an inter-ministerial delegation for the meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The Indian delegation includes representatives from agriculture ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Both the sides would discuss the outstanding bilateral trade issues with a view to arrive at a common ground on a mutually beneficial basis, the official said.
The two sides are negotiating a trade package to promote two-way commerce. India is pressing for exemption from high duty imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, full resumption of export benefits to some domestic goods under their GSP programme as well as greater market access for its products from sectors such as agriculture, automobile, auto components and engineering. On the other hand, the US wants greater market access for its dairy products, and medical devices.
“All these issues would figure in the meeting,” the official said. Trade issues started cropping up between the countries when the US imposed high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products, which are affecting India’s exports of these items to America. The US had also rolled back export incentives for Indian exporters, under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme. India exports goods worth about USD 6 billion to America under the scheme.
In retaliation, India imposed high customs duties on 28 US products, including almonds. Goyal has recently stated that India and the US have resolved the broad contours of the proposed trade package and an announcement is expected soon. India’s exports to the US in 2018-19 stood at USD 52.4 billion, while imports were USD 35.5 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.