A high-level trade delegation from the US is expected to visit India next week to find ways to resolve the recent trade tensions between the two countries, official sources said Thursday. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal is also likely to travel to Washington in the next few weeks as part of a larger bilateral engagement to thrash out the differences between the two sides on tariffs, they said.
Trade ties between the two sides have come under strain after the US last month announced its decision to end preferential trade status for India. As a retaliatory measure, India also announced raising tariffs on 29 goods imported from the US.
The US delegation is visiting India next week to thrash out sticky issues, sources said. When asked about friction between the two countries on the tariff issue, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said the broad trajectory of Indo-US ties remained positive.
"The discussion between Prime Minister Modi and US President Donald Trump in Osaka was very open and productive," he said, adding there was bound to be certain differences in any multi-dimensional relationship. Modi and Trump held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka last month during which a range of issues was discussed including trade ties between the two countries.
The Trump administration terminated India's designation as a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) of the US on June 5, ending the country's USD 5.6 billion trade concessions under the key program. The GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference program and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.
India was the largest beneficiary of the GSP program in 2017 with USD 5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status, according to a Congressional Research Service report published in January.
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