Piyush Goyal expected to meet USTR in Washington next month on sticky trade issues

The US has imposed high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products, which is affecting India's exports of these items to America.

Published: 18th July 2019 05:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2019 05:56 PM   |  A+A-

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal (File Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is likely to hold discussions with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer next month in Washington to iron out differences on trade-related issues, an official said.

Goyal would be holding the meeting with his US counterpart on August 7th, 8th and 9th, the official added. The meeting assumes significance on account of rising trade tensions between the two countries.

The US has imposed high customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products, which is affecting India's exports of these items to America.

They have also rolled back export incentives for Indian exporters, under their Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme.

India exports goods worth about USD 6 billion to America under the scheme. In retaliation, India has imposed high customs duties on 28 US products, including almonds.

According to sources, the US could ask for rolling back these duties particularly on almonds.

A team led by Assistant US Trade Representative (AUSTR) for South and Central Asia, Christopher Wilson, was here this month to hold discussions with senior government officials.

They also met Goyal. US President Donald Trump has been asking India to reduce customs duties on American products further. The president had recently tweeted that "high" duties were "not acceptable".

Goyal's meeting with Lighthizer would be the first high meeting on trade issues after the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the US President in Japan on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

The US also wants greater market access for its dairy products and cut in customs duties in information and communications technology products.

The American companies have also raised concerns over price cap on certain medical devices by India.

Stating that the US has taken a 'unilateral position' in rolling back export incentives from India, the government has asserted that it would not allow trade negotiations to overtake issues of national interest.

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