Enormous potential for growth in ties with India: US
There is an “enormous potential” for growth in the India-US relationship, the Trump administration has said, exuding confidence that the ongoing trade issues could be worked through because of the friendship between the two nations.
US President Donald Trump has often termed India a “tariff king” and repeatedly pointed to the 50 per cent tariffs it imposes on imports of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
India imposed retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products, including almonds and apples from June 5 after Trump revoked its preferential trade privileges.
India had been the biggest beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences, a programme designed to help developing countries sell to US consumers.
“As it relates to our trade relationship, the secretary (of state) has said this as well when we were in India: that we see a lot of opportunity for growth in our relationship. We see enormous potential,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was recently in New Delhi for talks with the new Indian government where he met with his counterpart (S Jaishankar), had incredibly effective meetings, Ortagus said.
“The secretary is confident – he has reiterated this – that any sort of trade negotiations that we have, any issues can be worked through because of the friendship between our two countries,” she said.
The spokesperson was responding to a question on the recent visit of an official from the office of the US Trade Representative to India for talks.
“We talked there quite a bit, both in our meetings and to the media, and many – you probably know this already how India is – the United States is India’s most important trading partner. I believe we’re their top market for exports,” Ortagus said.
The spokesperson also welcomed building of the Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan to facilitate visa-free travel of Sikh pilgrims from India to the historic Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
“That was certainly a good news report, wasn’t it? We encourage it,” Ortagus said. “Anything that increases people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan is something that we’re incredibly supportive of,” she said.