American trade officials were on a two day visit to New Delhi for a relationship-building with Indian government counterparts, including introductory meetings for the new assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) for India. Assistant Christopher Wilson and deputy assistant Brendan Lynch were in New Delhi
Talks took place for the first time after the US withdrew duty free benefits to Indian exporters and India imposed retaliatory tariffs on imports from the US, a move for which Washington dragged India to
dispute at the World Trade Organization.
“Met the United States Trade Representative team today to strengthen India-US trade ties. We deliberated on several issues to take our deep, historic and strong trade relationship to the next level,” Goyal said in a tweet after meeting the USTR delegation on Friday.
The delegation visited India to “explore potential for enhanced bilateral trade and economic engagement with India under the new government”, the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.
Goyal is likely to visit Washington to meet USTR Robert Lighthizer to resume bilateral trade talks after the leaders of the two countries met at the G20 Osaka Summit last month and agreed on a meeting between their commerce ministers. Crucial issues such as e-commerce, IPR, medical devices, steel and aluminium, and and agricultural commodities could be discussed then.
The US has already asked for a rollback of the higher duties on agricultural products including apples and almonds that India imposed as part of the retaliatory tariffs last month.
“The meeting was cordial and aimed at providing a new impetus to bilateral trade and commercial ties, in line with the mandate given by Prime Minister Modi and President Trump during their meeting at Osaka, Japan on 28 June, 2019,” the ministry said.
The delegation held bilateral talks with the Indian delegation led by a senior official of the commerce department, which included senior officials from other ministries also.
“Both sides discussed broad contours of bilateral trade and commercial ties and agreed to continue their discussions for achieving mutually beneficial outcomes aimed at further growing the economic relationship and addressing mutual trade concerns,” the ministry said.