Almost a week ahead of his India visit on February 24-25, US President Donald Trump Tuesday said he is “saving the big deal” with India for later and he “does not know” if it will be done before the presidential election in November.
“We can have a trade deal with India. But I’m really saving the big deal for later. We’re doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I don’t know if it’ll be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India,” he said. His statement clearly indicated that a major bilateral trade deal might not be on the cards this time.
However, the US and India could sign a “trade package” during the visit, according to PTI.
In an apparent dissatisfaction over US-India trade ties, Trump praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi but said they were not treated well by India. “We’re not treated very well by India. I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot,” PTI quoted Trump as saying.
“He told me we’ll have seven million people between the airport and the event. And the stadium, I understand, is sort of semi under construction, but it’s going to be the largest stadium in the world. So it’s going to be very exciting… I hope you all enjoy it,” the US president added.
#WATCH US President Donald Trump in Washington on his visit to India: I happen to like PM Modi a lot. He told me we will have 7 million people between the airport and the event. It’s going to be the largest stadium in the world. It’s going to be very exciting. pic.twitter.com/FdusHCInJ9
— ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2020
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the point-person for trade negotiations with India, might not accompany Trump to India. However, officials have not ruled it out altogether.
Meanwhile, the cumulative US-India trade in goods and services ($110.9 billion) for the first three quarters of 2019 increased 4.5 per cent with US exports and imports growing at four per cent and five per cent respectively.
The US exported $45.3 billion worth of goods and services to India in the first three quarters 2019, up 4 per cent from the corresponding period in the previous year; and the US imported $65.6 billion worth of goods and services from India, up 5 per cent from the previous year’s $62.5 billion level for the same period, USISPF said.
The USISPF has projected that the total bilateral trade can touch $238 billion by 2025 if the current 7.5 per cent average annual rate of growth sustains; however, higher growth rates can result in bilateral trade in the range of $283 billion and $327 billion.
The US remains the top trading partner for India in terms of trade in goods and services, followed by China. While the bilateral trade between the US and India is approximately 62 per cent in goods and 38 per cent in services, the bilateral trade between India and China is dominated by goods.
India’s trade with China grew 13 per cent in 2018, while India’s goods trade with the US increased by 18 per cent.
(With inputs from PTI)
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