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India, US officials likely to meet soon to discuss trade difference: MEA

ANI | Updated: Jul 04, 2019 18:34 IST

New Delhi [India], July 4 (ANI): Senior officials of India and the US are likely to meet in the next couple of weeks here to discuss differences on trade matters between the two countries.
"On trade, Foreign Secretary did mention in his briefing that the two sides will meet very soon. And I understand that ministry officials from the two sides are going to meet in the next couple of weeks," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told the media at the weekly briefing.
A team of US Trade Representative (USTR) is expected to hold the meeting with senior officials of the commerce department very soon.
This would be the first engagement between the two sides on trade issues after the meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with US President Donald Trump in Osaka on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
The trade talks between the two countries slowed down after Washington rolled back the privileges that New Delhi was enjoying under their GSP or Generalised System of Preferences programme since June 5.
The GSP, implemented since 1974, is the largest and oldest US trade preference scheme and it allows duty-free imports for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.
On its part, India had also imposed retaliatory tariffs on 25 American goods, less than two weeks after the Trump administration announced an end to the preferential trade treatment for India over the trade barriers.
"The Broad trajectory of the relationship between India and the US remains positive. The discussion Prime Minister had with Donald Trump in Osaka was very open and productive. In any multi-dimensional relationship, there are bound to be a certain difference. What we agreed was to continue to talk on all issues," Kumar added in his briefing.
During US State Secretary Mike Pompeo's visit to New Delhi, India and the US had acknowledged there were issues between the two countries on trade and committed themselves to remove differences between them.
Speaking to the media after talks with the visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said both the countries should take "constructive and pragmatic view" on the issues pertaining to trade between them.
Jaishankar asserted that India is committed to making business easier between the two countries.
Last year, India had announced tariffs in retaliation to higher US import duties on steel and aluminium.
Asserting that great friends are bound to have disagreements, Pompeo, in his remarks, said that Washington and New Delhi need to solve trade issues as there are millions of opportunity before the two countries. (ANI)