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Follow the reports of Donald Trump visiting India soon, news have upsurged suggesting finalizing of a $10 billion India-US trade deal in February. The same hasn’t been finalized yet and might be done when United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer visits India next month in New Delhi.
According to the officials, it is believed that this trade deal is awaiting the legal vetting and the finalized deal will be signed upon Donald Trump’s visit to India. This is expected to be the prior deal for the free trade agreement that both the nations are in the talks about.
Reports suggest that Lighthizer is set to meet the Industry Minister of India, Piyush Goyal in the second week of February to sign the deal. Trump is expected to be in India in the end of February as the head of the state.
This planned deal was talked about in the meetings that were conducted in Davos during the World Economic Forum. Six team members representing the United States visited and talked to Goyal around the progress of the deal and discussed around the contours of this proposed project for better clarifications.
An official who is aware of the proceedings of the deal said that this deal is a fairly large one for both the countries. The issue with the medical devices that was posing as issues has been resolved from both ends.
It is true that India and the United States have already found themselves in tangles of constant misunderstandings with trade deals in the prior days. The deal is expected to touch around the demands of Washington getting away with the communication technology goods, the market around the dairy products and even the Harley Davidson issues that sparked conflicts.
The officials believe that the full deal will be signed soon and for sure this time around and for a longer time span instead of a shorter one.
India has also demanded the restoration of the benefits under the pact of the Generalised System Preferences (GSP).
For those who aren’t aware, under the GSP, there are certain products that can directly be exported to the American market duty if the same meets in accordance to the eligibility criteria imposed by the US Congress. These benefits were withdrawn from India on June 05, 2019 which can be expected to be restored following the signing of this trade deal.
India exported goods amounting to $6.3 billion accounting to 12.1% of the overall exports to the US in the year of 2018. The officials suggested saying that they want GSP spread across multiple sectors including that of the textile, agriculture and even the goods across the American market.
Goyal has clarified in a statement to the Economic Times stating that any kind of imported products that have animal feeding in the chain has to be labeled as non-vegetarian for sale because of the religious sentiments attached to the same.
Further emphasizing on the situation, Goyal clarified saying, “There are always certain issues where one takes extra precautions and ensures that it doesn’t affect the Indian ecosystem, but usually in a trade deal, there are no complete no-nos. One can always work around and find sustainable solutions which can be acceptable to all parties.”
Lightizer is first visiting India to finalise and sign the deal, following which he is again going to visit India with Trump to finally announce the India-US trade deal. Further information around the same hasn’t been disclosed yet and is expected to roll around fairly soon.