US and India hold talks over future of trade relationship

Legislation | 9 November 2017

US and Indian government representatives have met to discuss future ways in which the countries' trade relationship can be revised and updated.


The US has called on India to further liberalize its approach to trade during the latest US-India Bilateral Trade Policy Forum, which recently took place in Washington, DC.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer met with Indian minister of commerce and industry Sri Suresh Prabhu to discuss a full agenda of bilateral trade issues, with the matter of rebalancing the current relationship cited as a priority for the US delegation.

Trade between the two countries has grown significantly in the last few years, but - as has been a recurring aspect of US trade policy since Donald Trump became president - the US is keen to explore ways of bringing down its current trade deficit with India, which stands at $29.6 billion (€25.44 billion).

As such, the US is pushing for India to make further efforts to facilitate American exports, while also calling on the country to tackle non-science-based barriers to agricultural trade, regulatory and technical hurdles impacting sales of high-tech US products, and tariffs in a number of agricultural and industrial sectors.

It was noted that differing views emerged during the summit that "could not be resolved immediately", though both sides were prepared to commit to redoubling efforts in the future across all areas, with strong engagement needed over the coming months in order to achieve concrete outcomes before the next annual trade policy forum.

Mr Lighthizer said: "To increase reciprocal trade, we will continue to seek to identify and address trade barriers related to goods, including manufactured and agriculture, services and intellectual property rights.

"The US objective is to increase trade flows between our two countries and to decrease our bilateral trade deficit. I am confident that with continued work, we will be able to accomplish these goals."