India has reportedly offered to partially open up its markets for American poultry and agricultural products that were not allowed previously, in a bid for a limited trade deal during US President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country this month.
India, the world’s largest milk-producing nation, has traditionally restricted dairy imports to protect the livelihoods of 80 million rural households involved in the industry.
It seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pulling all the stops for the US President’s February 24-25 visit in a bid to rebuild bonds between the world’s largest democracies.
The US President is slated to travel to India on February 24 and 25 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In addition to New Delhi, he will make a stop in Ahmedabad in Gujarat to address a joint public meeting with PM Modi at a stadium.
“He (Modi) is a great gentleman and I look forward to going to India. So, we’ll be going at the end of the month,” President Trump said while talking to journalists at his Oval Office, a day after the White House announced dates of his anticipated India trip.
PM Modi on Wednesday expressed his happiness over US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to India.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said that he is “delighted” that Trump and his wife will be visiting Delhi this month and added, “India will accord a memorable welcome to our esteemed guests”.
Trade tensions between India and the US have been rising with Trump complaining that tariffs imposed by New Delhi on American products were “no longer acceptable”.
President Trump, championing his ‘America First’ policy, has been a vocal critic of India for levying “tremendously high” duties on US products. He has described India as a “tariff king”.
The US, in July last, terminated India’s preferential trade status – a designation as a beneficiary developing country under a key trade preference programme.
“I have determined that India has not assured the US that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, 2019,” Trump said in a proclamation.
India was the largest beneficiary of the programme in 2017 with $5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status, according to a Congressional Research Service report in January.
Arguing that New Delhi had failed to assure America that it would provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets in numerous sectors, US President Donald Trump had in March last year informed the US Congress about his intent to terminate the designation of India and Turkey as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
India had termed the move as “unfortunate”.
US President Donald Trump had in January year, said that his trade and tariff policies “have started working” and many countries, including India, have opened up their markets for American poultry and agricultural products that were not allowed previously.
Addressing the 100th annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation in January last, he said, “India and Morocco have opened their markets to our poultry exports. We do so much for them, it’s incredible. Japan opened its market to US exports of potatoes from Idaho and lamb from the great State of Texas.”
According to Trump, over the last 15 years there has been a continual decline in the US’ share of agricultural trade all throughout the world.