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Modi, Trump bilateral meet shortly, India-US trade agreement on table

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, the two leaders are likely to reach an understanding on outstanding trade and economic issues.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New York | Updated: September 24, 2019 9:51:47 pm
India-US trade agreement on table at PM Modi, Donald Trump bilateral meet today Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump at the ‘Howdy Modi’ event at NRG Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo: Evan Vucci)

India and the US are likely to reach an understanding on outstanding trade and economic issues on Tuesday, in a document tentatively titled “Indo-US shared vision: near-future outcomes”, The Indian Express has learnt. It is likely to address the critical issues between the two countries and the document prepared runs into a couple of pages.

To be billed as the big takeaway, this document is likely to be issued after the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the UN headquarters at 12.15 pm New York time (9.45 pm IST).

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan met their US counterparts in a downtown hotel in New York on Monday evening to finalise the understanding, which has been in the works for a while.

The understanding is expected to address the issues related to Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), medical devices including stents and other tariff-related issues among other things.

The Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, when asked on Monday evening, said that when Trump and Modi had met in France, they had reached a broad understanding that the issues on trade must be resolved quickly. He said that these discussions are ongoing, and to wait for the outcome of the meeting.

But, The Indian Express has learnt that the two sides were just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s as of Monday night in New York.

Modi had said in Houston, while addressing the Howdy Modi event on Sunday: “In the next two or three days, President Trump and I will have discussions. I hope that from these discussions as well we will have very positive results. By the way, President Trump calls me a tough negotiator. However, he himself is quite an expert in the ‘art of the deal’. And I am learning quite a lot from him.”

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