US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer likely to visit India next month to finalise trade package

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New Delhi | Published: January 29, 2020 5:23:17 PM

The official said that the USTR along with his team is expected in the second week of February. They would hold discussions with the officials of the commerce ministry.

Robert Lighthizer, India, Us india relation, indo us relations, india us trade relations, india us trade agreement, india us economic relationsThis visit of USTR assumes significance as Indian and US officials are engaged in talks to finalise dates for a possible visit by US President Donald Trump to India in the coming months. (Reuters)

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is likely to visit India next month to finalise talks on the proposed trade package between the two countries that could be announced during Donald Trump’s tour in coming months, an official said. The official said that the USTR along with his team is expected in the second week of February. They would hold discussions with the officials of the commerce ministry.

This visit of USTR assumes significance as Indian and US officials are engaged in talks to finalise dates for a possible visit by US President Donald Trump to India in the coming months. The official said that the trade package if finalised could be announced during Trump’s visit to India. The two countries are negotiating a trade package to iron out issues and promote the two-way commerce.

India is demanding exemption from high duties imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to certain domestic products under their Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), greater market access for its products from sectors including agriculture, automobile, auto components and engineering. On the other hand, the US wants greater market access for its farm and manufacturing products, dairy items and medical devices, and cut on import duties on some ICT products. The US has also raised concerns over high trade deficit with India.

In 2018-19, India’s exports to the US stood at USD 52.4 billion, while imports were USD 35.5 billion. Trade deficit dipped from USD 21.3 billion in 2017-18 to USD 16.9 billion in 2018-19. India received FDI worth USD 3.13 billion from the US in 2018-19, higher than USD 2 billion in 2017-18.

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