NEW DELHI: The Indian and US officials who met on Friday to resolve a trade spat between the two giant nations made some headway, but will meet for another round of meetings in the US soon to settle the row.
The American team led by Assistant US Trade Representative Christopher Wilson also met Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. The Indian delegation was led by Sanjay Chadha, additional secretary, Department of Commerce, and included senior officials from other ministries.
While Americans pressed for a rollback of higher tariffs that India had imposed on US imports in a tit for tat tariff war, and demanded opening up of India market to US agricultural and technology products, the Indian side sought better market access for domestic products. Indian officials said they were unlikely to agree to changes in norms for e-commerce firms at this juncture.
“Both sides discussed the broad contours of bilateral trade and commercial ties, and agreed to continue their discussions for achieving mutually beneficial outcomes aimed at further growing the economic relationship and addressing mutual trade concerns,” the government said in an official statement.Last month, the United States had unilaterally scrapped duty-free export facility to over 2,000 product categories from India, which retaliated by raising duties on 28 US exports including almonds and Washington apples.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump took a swipe at India on Twitter this week, saying that its tariffs were “no longer acceptable”. The US has also taken up India’s e-commerce rules, which it considers discriminatory; it contested India’s plans to store payment data locally instead of allowing them to be shipped to servers in the US and has gone to the WTO seeking explanations on India’s subsidies to its farmers.