The Indian Express | 27 March 2021
Plan to ‘quickly ramp up’ trade ties with US, says Goyal
India’s hopes for a trade package with the US may not be up for discussion any time soon under the Joe Biden administration, but the countries plan on expanding trade ties through other means, according to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
Goyal last month had said he would engage with the new US Trade Representative (USTR) to “try and put together a fresh package” after the old package that was close to finalisation under the Trump administration was off the table with the change of guard. Last year, the minister also spoke about exploring larger engagement that would culminate in a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US. However, following his first meeting with USTR Katherine Tai on Thursday, the Minister said the new administration in the US had broadly announced that it was not looking at Free Trade Agreements “in the near future.”
“Probably they are also looking at (it in) the way that India looks at it, that doing these things in a hurry is not always advisable,” said Goyal during the Times Network’s India Economic Enclave on Friday. However, the two countries plan to “quickly ramp up” their discussions on trade of goods and services.
“Having said that, we are looking at expanding our trade ties through removal of non trade barriers, through better mutual recognition agreements, through other means, to expand both the trade in goods and services,” he said.
The office of the USTR, in a statement following her meeting with Goyal on Thursday, had said that the two countries “committed” to strengthening cooperation on “shared objectives” and to revitalize engagement through the US-India Trade Policy Forum.