The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India on Tuesday said the time is ripe for drawing a new export strategy amid rising trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies, the US and China.

The council also hailed the centre for “responding well” to the global trade tensions by maintaining a stance that serves the cause of Indian exporters best, realising how critical exports are for the country’s big macro picture.

With pressure on the rupee in the wake of hardening of crude oil prices, bridging the trade deficit is of great significance for India’s overall current account deficit, said council’s Chairman Ravi Sehgal.

“The best way forward for bridging the gap is to raise exports, moving with a definite strategy. While the Commerce Ministry has already begun exercise on this strategy, we in the engineering sector would extend our full support, in terms of sharing key inputs and market intelligence from across different territories, mainly the US where the opportunities are galore in the backdrop of robust growth and vacation of space by the high tariff wall for the Chinese goods,” he said.

According to him, there are both opportunities and challenges for exporters.

“We can increase our engagement with the US and also China, seeking to occupy the markets which would be vacated in the midst of the ongoing mutual tariff increases by both the top two economies,” he said.

“There should be both medium-to-long term strategies as also the short-term game plan. The first and immediate focus should be on the short-term plan in the wake of the global tariff war, which is not abating any time soon,” the council said in a statement.

Besides, arresting cost of raw material like steel would be of greater importance. Exporters, especially in the manufacturing sector, need to keep their costs in check by getting raw material at globally competitive prices, Sehgal said, adding that logistics support is also important.

The EEPC, representing engineering exports which account for about one-fourth of the country’s total merchandise exports, said it would work with the government in identifying new opportunities which are emerging out of the unveiling new global trade paradigm, marked by tariff war between the US and China.