Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that differences between India and US over the trade deal have been resolved and suggested that the governments of both countries could make the announcement soon. According to a report, Goyal said that "the broad contours of a trade deal with the United States have been worked out." The Union commerce minister also said that he would soon meet United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
US President Donald Trump has been raising the issue of "higher tarrifs" on American goods being levied by India. In protest, he raised tarrifs on several Indian products exported to the US, including motorcycles. In retaliation, New Delhi also increased tariffs on several goods being imported from Washington. However, the countries then decided to work-out a better deal. The deal was reportedly supposed to be announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent US visit but delayed due to some differences.
Since then, both countries were working out the broad contours of the trade deal. Earlier on Sunday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was in the US, had said that negotiations between India and the United States on the trade deal were going on in "full speed" and expressed hope that it will conclude soon. The ongoing trade deal negotiations briefly came up for discussion during a pull aside between Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the IMF headquarters. Mnuchin is scheduled to visit India early next month.
"In fact, I broadly mentioned it to Secretary Mnuchin, but that is something on which the Commerce minister and Mr (Robert) Lighthizer (US Trade Representatives) are working. My inputs are that the negotiations are going in full speed and there's a great intensity with which both sides are engaging and hopefully the deal will be structured soon," Sitharaman said.
Responding to a question, she said a totalisation agreement with the US has always been on the cards."One of the reasons why that was never responded to was that India did not have a social welfare net or social insurance cover for Indians in India. And therefore, if they had to give it, they wouldn't be given in the sense where would it be used." she said.
(With PTI inputs)