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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Can look at mini trade deal before US elections; entire package is near ready: Piyush Goyal

The final decision is being left to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, he said during a virtual conference on Tuesday.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: September 2, 2020 10:28:35 am
97 people died while travelling on Shramik Special trains: Railway Minister Piyush GoyalThe government has informed the Rajya Sabha that 97 people died on board the Shramik Specials. (File photo)

India and the US are exploring the option of inking a limited trade pact before the American Presidential elections in November, as both countries have sorted out “most” of the issues preventing its conclusion, according to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. The final decision is being left to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, he said during a virtual conference on Tuesday.

“I just had a conversation with ambassador Lighthizer. We both agreed that we can look at doing it before the election also, but, otherwise, soon after the election. The entire package is near ready and can be finalised at any time that the local political situation in the US permits them to,” Goyal said during the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s (USISPF) third Annual Leadership Summit.

“I am open to signing up tomorrow (for) what we’ve agreed upon and I’ve left it to (the USTR) to take a final call. We, on India’s part, believe that it has to be a win-win for both countries and what we’ve created — the architecture of the initial deal — I think is in the best interest of businesses both in the US and India,” he said.

He also said: “I think the US is the leader of creating non-tariff barriers through these quality control orders and standards. Europe has such extremely impossible to meet standards on several products which work as a non-tariff barrier and create an impediment to free flow of goods and services.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his key note address Thursday, organisers announced.

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