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28 Jun, 2019 10:45

Trump says ‘very big trade deal’ with India may be coming

Trump says ‘very big trade deal’ with India may be coming

US President Donald Trump has hinted that Washington and New Delhi may settle their trade dispute. It comes as the two countries have already hit each other with tit-for-tat tariffs and the US ended trade privileges for India.

“I think we’re going to have some very big things to announce. Very big trade deal,” Trump said, as cited by the media at the beginning of talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. He did not elaborate on the matter, just adding that “big things” are coming in terms of trade and manufacturing.

The two leaders are taking part in the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan. Later in the day, Trump and Modi asked officials to restart trade talks to resolve tariffs issues, according to Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

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The Trump-Modi meeting comes shortly after the US president hit out at New Delhi’s retaliatory tariffs targeting key US exports to India, including almonds, walnuts, apples, as well as some metal and chemical products. The move was postponed several times while India was hoping for progress in trade talks.

India’s tariff hikes came after the Trump administration removed trade benefits India enjoyed under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. Around $5.6 billion-worth annually of Indian products, including textiles, leather, gems, and jewelry, used to have duty-free access to the US market under the program.

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While India was only threatening to respond to the unfriendly trade policies, it said that the duties are equivalent to Washington’s own increase in tariffs on Indian products. Last March, Washington hit all imported steel and aluminum with 25 and 10 percent tariffs. India, which is one of the largest steel producers in the world, was granted no exemption from the measure.

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