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Senior officials from India, US discuss broad contours of bilateral trade

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 12 Jul 19 | 09:19 PM

Senior officials from India and the US held detailed discussions Friday on various trade related issues to strengthen bilateral economic relations, the commerce ministry said.

"Both sides discussed the broad contours of bilateral trade and commercial ties and agreed to continue their discussions for achieving mutually beneficial outcomes aimed at further growing the economic relationship and addressing mutual trade concerns," it said in a statement.

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A team led by Assistant US Trade Representative (AUSTR) for South and Central Asia, Christopher Wilson, was here for the meeting with senior officials of the commerce and industry ministry.

The US delegation, it said, was here to explore potential for enhanced bilateral trade and economic engagement with India under the new government.

The delegation held bilateral talks with the Indian side led by Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, which included senior officials from other ministries, it added.

"The meeting was aimed at providing a new impetus to bilateral trade and commercial ties, in line with the mandate given by Prime Minister Modi and President Trump during their meeting at Osaka, Japan on 28 June 2019," the statement said.

The US team also met Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan.

"Met the US Trade Representative team today to strengthen India-US trade ties. We deliberated on several issues to take our deep, historic and strong trade relationship to the next level," Goyal said in a tweet.

This was the first deliberations at official level on trade issues after the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US President in Japan, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka in June.

Talks for a trade package between the two countries slowed after the US rolled back export incentives for India under their generalised system of preference programme with effect from June 5.

From June 16, India imposed high customs duties on 28 US products in retaliation to customs duties imposed by America on certain steel and aluminium products.

There are certain irritants which both the countries wants to sort out to push the bilateral trade.

The US wants greater market access for its dairy products and cut in customs duties in information and communications technology products. The American companies have also raised concerns over price cap on certain medical devices by India.

Stating that the US has taken a 'unilateral position' in rolling back export incentives from India, the government has asserted that it would not allow trade negotiations to overtake issues of national interest.

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