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Trump makes moves on new trade deal with India

20 February 2020

US President Donald Trump says a bilateral trade deal between the US and India is coming, but it might be finalised after the November election.

According to reporting from Reuters, US negotiators have been trying to create a limited accord that gives the US better access to India's dairy and poultry markets and lowers tariffs on other products. The potential deal was announced ahead of Trump's first official trip to India. 

Though the deal could benefit both sides, no breakthrough has been announced. A planned trip by US trade representative Rob Lighthizer was cancelled, highlighting the difficulties the two sides face when trying to reach an agreement.

"We can have a trade deal with India, but I’m really saving the big deal for later on," Trump told reporters on Tuesday, outside Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

"We’re doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I don’t know if it’ll be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India," he said, in a transcript of remarks released by the White House.

The United States is India's second-largest trade partner after China, with their goods and services trade hitting a record $142.6 billion in 2018.

Last year, the United States had a $23.2 billion goods trade deficit in 2019 with India, its ninth largest trading partner in goods.

Since Trump took office in 2017, long-standing trade differences between the world's biggest democracies have come to the fore, with Trump calling India the tariff king.

The two have warred over everything from tariffs on farm goods to Harley-Davidson motorbikes and price caps on medical devices and India's new rules on local data storage.

Read the original story from Reuters here. 


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