On the sidelines of a G20 summit in Osaka in June, Trump and Modhi agreed to build ties between two countries and sort out their trade issues. The trade negotiators are set to meet on Friday with a few signs of compromise on protective measures taken by both the governments in recent months straining ties between the countries.
Trump has been putting pressure on India to open its markets saying the Tariff is unacceptable. On the other hand the Indian PM Modhi who was re-elected this May has been pushing policies with higher tariffs on everything goods to foreign firms in the market to help the growth of domestic firms and create job opportunities.
“Since India’s election period has now passed, USTR officials are visiting India for relationship-building with Indian government counterparts,” a USTR spokesperson said.
The USTR delegation is likely to meet Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday and New Delhi expects US officials to push against India’s efforts to endorse foreign firms to store their data locally.
One of India’s concern is that Trump’s administration will push for a free trade agreement that could reduce India’s competitiveness and affect Modhi’s ‘Make in India’ Plan.
Mark Linscott, a former USTR official wrote in India’s The Hindu newspaper on Tuesday that trade should be a bigger part of the India and U.S. strategic partnership and that a free trade pact “is the ultimate example of economic integration.”
Trade between India and US was worth $142.1 billion in 2018, with India having a surplus of $24.2 billion.