India and U.S. officials to look for ways to resolve trade issues

India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, presents a bouquet to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai before the start of their meeting in New Delhi, India, November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Pool

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India and the United States agreed to look for way to resolve differences on issues such as market access and digital trade at the start of a two-day visit by U.S Trade Representative Katherine Tai, officials said.

Negotiators from both countries have struggled for more than a year to conclude a trade package as New Delhi and Washington have sparred over a range of issues, including tariffs.

Tai, accompanied in New Delhi by her deputy Ambassador Sarah Bianchi, raised issues of market access restrictions, high tariffs, unpredictable regulations and restricted digital trade between the two countries.

“These are issues where we intent to make progress and they will be on the top of my list during the visit,” Tai told Indian officials at a dinner hosted by Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

Both countries have agreed to revive their Trade Policy Forum, after a gap of four years, aiming to discuss ways to broaden trade relations.

“We have been uniquely tasked by our leaders, PM Modi and President Biden, to strengthen our economic ties and trade based on transparency and fairness,” Goyal said at the dinner.

The meeting follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in September.

There was a huge potential for growth in areas such as digital economy, health services and agriculture, Tai said.

The revived Trade Policy Forum could help expand bilateral trade that has never seemed to live up to its potential, she said.

Indian and U.S. officials would also discuss the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Geneva, Indian officials said.

U.S.-Indian relations have grown steadily closer and both countries have joined with Japan and Australia in the so-called Quad group in an effort to push back against Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.



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