Millennium Post

Yet to finalise trade deal with India: White House

Yet to finalise trade deal   with India: White House

Washington DC: The United States on Friday said it was unlikely that a trade deal would be inked with India during President Donald Trump's upcoming visit to the country, saying that concerns that led to India's removal from the Generalized System of Preferences persisted.

"The concerns that led to the revocation, suspension of India's Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) access remains a concern for us. And to remind, it was really the failure of the Indian government to provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors," a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are scheduled to travel to Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi on February 24 and 25. There have been talks about India and the United States agreeing on a trade package as a precursor to a major trade deal.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who has been negotiating a trade deal with India, is not travelling with Trump on the India trip. In fact, he had

cancelled his earlier trip to India as well.

"We continue to talk to our Indian colleagues about addressing these market access barriers. Our trade teams, led by the USTR, have been in touch with their counterparts over the past several weeks. That engagement will continue," the official said.

"The trade and economic relationship with India is critically important to the United States, and I think also access to the United States market is critical to the Indian government. We do want to make sure that we get this balance right. We want to address a bunch -- a lot of concerns, and we're not quite there yet," the official said in response to a question.

The high-powered American delegation led by Trump will likely have discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about these concerns and continue the discussion beyond this visit, said the senior administration official.

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