There is chance of US-India ‘mini trade deal’ before presidential election: Top American diplomat

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September 1, 2020 10:56 AM

India and the US are negotiating a deal to iron out differences on trade issues to boost economic ties.

US india trade deal, trade deal in inida, donald trump, presidential electionThe US remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20.

There is a chance of a “mini trade deal” between the US and India even before the November 3 presidential election in the United States, a top American diplomat has said. India and the US are negotiating a deal to iron out differences on trade issues to boost economic ties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump have a strong personal bond and a strong commitment to do a trade deal, “so there’s a chance”, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said at the third India-US Leadership Summit organised virtually by the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) on Monday. Biegun was responding to a question on the prospect of a mini trade deal before the US presidential election in November.

“Do you think we’ve got a chance at a mini trade deal before the election?” former US Ambassador to India Richard Verma asked. “I think there’s a chance. It’s going to take a little more energy,” Biegun said. “The time is short before the US elections and a lot of governments around the world are hedging a little bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indian government as well,? the American diplomat said.

Also Read: India GDP shrinks 23.9% in Q1: First economic contraction in 40 years is worse than feared

The US remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20. According to the data of the commerce ministry, in 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at USD 88.75 billion, as against USD 87.96 billion in 2018-19. The US is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. The trade gap between the countries has increased to USD 17.42 billion in 2019-20 from USD 16.86 billion in 2018-19, the data showed. In 2018-19, the US had surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner.

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