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‘Optimistic’ of India-US trade deal fairly soon: Foreign Secretary

September 25
09:14 2019

New York, Sep 25 (IANS) India and the US have made “significant progress” in ironing out their trade issues and both sides are “optimistic” of concluding an understanding or an agreement on trade fairly soon, a top Indian official said, as US President Donald Trump said that a trade deal was in the offing very soon.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, briefing news persons after the bilateral between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump, said that India and the US have made “significant progress in growing the trade in last thee-four years and also reducing the trade deficit”.

He said that Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal was in New York City to hold talks with US Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer, and “significant progress has been made on a number of issues”.

Both Lightizer and Goyal have expressed satisfaction at the discussions, he said.

The Foreign Secretary said both sides “felt optimistic of us reaching some kind of a trade agreement in the near future, and the discussions will continue”

He said Indian companies are also investing in the US, and it was a “symbiotic relation, of give and take” with the US.

Gokhale explained that the trade issues are “complex” since it “involves domestic industry on both the sides, jobs on both sides, and reconciling the gives and takes requires a certain amount of discussion, and certain amount of balance”.

“We have made significant progress in the regard and are quite confident we will make further progress in the future,” he added.

“We expect it to be a fair and reasonable deal, and we have laid out our requirements in the regard, and so has the US side, and it is now a matter of negotiating between the two sides on individual issues, to ensure that our requirement of access to the US markets, and for Indian companies and exporters to continue to do so, and also in new products, is secured; and we also addressed the US side’s concerns regarding what they consider to be trade deficit,” he added.

To a question, he said that the timeline for a trade deal was not discussed.

“We are optimistic we will conclude an understanding or agreement fairly soon,” he added.

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