US attempts to shift entire blame on India for trade deal impasse

Economy


The USA has tried to shift the blame entirely on India for not having trade deal ready in time for President Donald Trump’s visit and alleged that recent decisions by the Indian government made the task difficult.

A US official also said that revoking the special concessions to some Indian imports under the General Scheme of Preferences (GSP) “was really the failure of the Indian government to provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors”.

The official claimed that USA did not expect it be reinstated unless there was reciprocal action by India. “We continue to talk to our Indian colleagues about addressing these market access barriers. Our trade teams led by USTR have been in touch with their counterparts over the past several weeks,” the official said.

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But Indian officials stated that the US is constantly seeking to expand the ambition of the deal.

“Whether or not there will be an announcement on a trade package is, really, wholly dependent upon what the Indians are prepared to do,” the official said.

The official cited the recent budget’s promotion of ‘Make in India’ and the increased tariffs on some imports in the recent budget as making the situation worse.

“We have had a number of announcements coming from India in the past several weeks, which are making the discussions a bit more difficult perhaps. Recent announcements on ‘Make in India’ have made the protectionism concerns in India even greater.”

The official said there was also growing divergence on e-commerce and digital areas. “So it’s a pretty wide scope, frankly, of important service and goods access barriers that we need to address. We will be discussing those concerns. And what we see as an increase in barriers, not a decrease, this will certainly come up among the leaders.”

The official said that the US wanted “to get the balance right” before there can be a trade deal. “We want to address a bunch, a lot of concerns, and we’re not quite there yet.”



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