Little Hope for US-India Trade Deal During Trump’s Visit

Before his India visit, Donald Trump said that a trade deal that was under negotiation can’t be signed now.

Published21 Feb 2020, 09:21 AM IST
2 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma & Mohd Irshad Alam

Before his first official visit to India, US President Donald Trump said that the US was not treated well by India. He also said that a trade deal that was under negotiation can’t be signed now. However, he added that he 'likes PM Narendra Modi a lot'.

Trump’s India visit comes at a time when his party is campaigning for the 2020 US Presidential elections. However, the Indian media seems to be focusing on the grandeur of Donald Trump’s visit – the grand preparations that have started to welcome Trump to the country.

Trump said that Modi had told him that around 70 lakh people will be attending the Motera Stadium event called 'Namaste Trump'. Meanwhile, we are told that the stadium can accommodate only 1 lakh people.

The biggest question that arises is about the trade deal that was on the cards initially.

This deal has been under negotiation for the last two years, why has it seen no progress?

Last month, three meetings were held between US Trade Representative & India's commerce minister. USTR Robert Lighthizer was supposed to come to India before Trump’s visit, but he canceled at the last moment.

Why Did Lighthizer Cancel His Trip?

One reason was India's move to increase tariff in the 2020 Union Budget. Before that, the US increased duty on steel and aluminum. One more thing that happened was the US disallowing tariff-free imports. As India is a developing nation, the US used to allow tariff-free imports.

However, now it has told India that it is a developed nation and the advantages given to New Delhi have been disallowed. An environment of protectionism prevails in both countries. This is why instead of reducing the taxes, both India and US are aggressively increasing them.

There are also a multitude of other areas like defence, where a healthy Indo-US relationship plays a key role.

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