India, US expected to finalise trade package soon

New Delhi: To boost the bilateral trade, Commerce Ministry officials and the US Trade Representative (USTR) are in the process of finalising a trade package which would be announced soon, an official said.

India is pressing for exemption from high duty imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to some domestic goods under their generalised system of preferences (GSP) as well as greater market access for its products from sectors like agriculture, automobile, auto components and engineering.

On the other hand, the US is demanding greater market access through cut in import duties for its agriculture goods, dairy products, medical devices, IT and communication items, the official said.

As the talks are going on, India is extending the deadline for imposing high customs duties on 29 US products in retaliation to Washington’s move to impose high import duties on certain steel and aluminium products.

The official added that India and the US are having two track discussions — to increase trade in short and medium term, and identify long term trade potentials. India’s exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.