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Big trade deal coming soon; talks are on: PM Modi

latest business news

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a joint press briefing with US President Donald Trump, said India and USA would soon start talks on a big trade deal. "Our commerce ministers have had positive talks on trade. Both of us have decided that our teams should give legal shape to these trade talks. We also agreed to open negotiations on a big trade deal," said PM Modi.

Bilateral trade between the two countries had seen two-digit growth and increased trade stability in the last three years, he said.

President Trump, too, said that India and USA were at the peak of their relationship and expected that the countries would soon agree upon a comprehensive "trade deal". Trump on Monday had termed Modi a "tough negotiator" saying the two countries would sign one of the biggest trade deals. India and USA were supposed to sign a trade deal before Trump's visit, but both the countries failed to reach an agreeable deal.

During an interaction with reporters at the Joint Base Andrews outside Washington last week, Trump said, "Well, we can have a trade deal with India, but I'm saving the big deal for later on."

"We're doing a very big trade deal with India. We'll have it. I don't know if it'll be done before the election (in November), but we'll have a very big deal with India," he added. Trump, forcefully pursuing his 'America first' policy, has previously described India as a "tariff king" for imposing "tremendously high" tariffs on American products.

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 which was USD 16.9 billion in 2018-19.

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