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            december 12, 2019

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US-India trade talks get off to a contentious start in New Delhi


India and US trade negotiators have met with few signs of a compromise on a series of protectionist measures taken by the two governments that have strained ties between them, reports Pakistan's Dhaka Tribune.
US President Donald Trump has been putting pressure on India to do more to open its markets, saying again on Twitter its high tariffs were "unacceptable".
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing nationalist policies with higher tariffs on everything from electronic goods to tighter controls on foreign firms in the fast growing e-commerce market to help foster domestic companies and create jobs.
A delegation led by Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asia, Christopher Wilson met Indian officials to re-start negotiations on tit-for-tat tariffs that were put on hold because of India's election.
India's trade ministry did not respond to a Reuters email seeking comments on the visit.
Mark Linscott, a former USTR official wrote in India's Hindu daily that trade should be a bigger part of the India and US strategic partnership and that a free trade pact "is the ultimate example of economic integration."
Trade between and India and US was worth US$142.1 billion in 2018, with India having a surplus of $24.2 billion.
"The direction that we would like is to pursue a deal which is mutually beneficial and not concede without reciprocity."

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