Trump-Modi meeting: fails to finalize trade agreement

NEW YORK: The U.S and Indian financial teams have failed to finalize a trade deal as both parties have shown no flexibility to narrow the gap in their positions on certain economic areas.

It was reported by a leading Indian daily, The Hindu on Wednesday, that despite Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal’s presence in New York to finalize a trade agreement with US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, the two parties failed to reach a settling point on Information and communications technology (ICT) products.

The announcement of the trade deal was expected to take place after the meeting on Tuesday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump. “We will have a trade deal soon. We will have a bigger trade deal down the road,” Trump said before the talks held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

While Foreign Secretary of India, Vijay Gokhale refused to share details on why a trade agreement could not be finalized, three sources familiar with the negotiations told The Hindu that the prospects of an agreement unravelled as the US wants India to eliminate tariffs (20 percent) on ICT products, but New Delhi is concerned that this could open up the market to flooding by Chinese technology. The US wanted greater access to Indian markets for medical devices, such as stents and knee implants, ICT and dairy products and sought the removal of price caps.

The US had sought the removal of price caps (Trade Margin Rationalisation) on medical devices and greater access for dairy products and some other categories of agricultural goods.


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