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Discussions with India on trade deal have started, says White House

Press Trust of India/Washington 11 Oct 18 | 09:00 PM

President Donald Trump | Photo: Reuters

Discussions with "very valuable ally" India on a trade deal has started, the White House said Thursday, days after President Donald Trump insisted that New Delhi has reached out to his administration on this.

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"Yes discussions (with India on a trade deal) has started. No details please. But discussions have started. India is a very valuable ally," Larry Kudlow, top economic advisor to President Trump, told reporters at the White House.

Responding to questions, Kudlow refrained from providing any further detail about the nature of the talks with India.

On October 1, Trump accused India of having a high tariff and described it as a tariff king. He said India has reached out to him for a trade deal. Trump said this happened after he said that he will impose similar high tariff on import of Indian products.

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"India, which is the tariff king -- they called us, and they say, 'We want to start negotiations immediately.' When Bob Lighthizer said, 'What happened? He would never do this.' They said, 'No, we want to keep your President happy.' Isn't that nice? Isn't that nice? It's true. They have to keep us happy because they understand that we're wise to what's been happening," Trump had said.

Trump, however, said that he has a good relationship with India.

"My relationship with India is great, with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is great. They're going to start doing a lot. They've already called us to make a deal. We didn't even call them. They called us to make a deal, which is, like, shocking to people," said the US President.

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