Tue, 07 Apr 2020

New Delhi [India], Feb 19 (ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his US counterpart will hold a wide-ranging discussion on trade, government sources told ANI ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to India next week.

"Trade deal between India and the US is not stuck. The Minister of Commerce and his US counterpart have decided to engage in talks. Both the countries will have a wide-range discussion and will have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) later," sources said.

According to them, India will seek restoration of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) by the US.

President Trump has signalled that a "big trade" deal might not be on the agenda during his visit to India next week, saying that he is saving "a very big" US-India deal for later.

"We can have a trade deal with India, but I am really saving the big deal for later, maybe before elections. But we will have a very big deal with India," Trump said while talking to reporters.

The US President will reach Gujarat's Ahmedabad by noon on February 24 and is slated to address a mammoth crowd of more than 100,000 people, which is expected to turn up for an event at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on the lines of the 'Howdy Modi' function that was addressed by the US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston in September last year.

Meanwhile, a senior US official told ANI that India and the US are likely to finalise not a complete but a "part" of a bilateral trade deal during Trump's two-day visit to India from February 24.

The two countries are separately working on a limited trade agreement ahead of the trip, after earlier imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's imports. While there have been reports that a possible trade deal appears unlikely, the official conveyed, "the leaders are likely to discuss and possibly finalise not a complete but maybe a 'part' of a bilateral trade deal during the visit."Tensions on the trade front between the two countries had emerged in June last year, after Trump revoked preferential trade privileges, in response to which India imposed tariffs on 28 US products, including almonds and apples.

Despite several meetings held over the past 18 months in Washington DC, New Delhi, and New York, trade negotiators of the two countries are yet to finalise on a deal.

The official said that India is also set to finalise a long-pending defence deal with the United States during Trump's visit.

On Tuesday, President Trump will meet with executives of Indian companies -- with business interests in the United States during his visit to the capital -- at an event organized by the US embassy in New Delhi. The companies expected to be represented at the meeting include the Indian oil and gas company Reliance Industries, Tata Sons, Bharat Forge, Mahindra, and Mahindra. (ANI)

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