As the Industry analysts were keeping a close watch on whether the trade disputes between the two world’s largest democracies would be resolved during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India on February 24 and 25, he has said he is “saving the big deal” with India for later and he “does not know” if it will be done before the presidential election in November, clearly indicating that a major bilateral trade deal during his visit to Delhi next week might not be on the cards.
The dispute between the two countries dates back to 2019, when the US President had suspended India’s special trade designation after PM Modi had put price caps on medical equipments such as cardiac stents and knee implants. Indian Prime Minister had introduced new data localization requirement and e-commerce restrictions.
“We can have a trade deal with India. But I’m really saving the big deal for later,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday afternoon (US local time).
Asked whether he expects a trade deal with India before the visit, US President said, “We’re doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I don’t know if it’ll be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India.”
According to PTI sources, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the main person who looks after the trade negotiations with India, is not likely to accompany President Trump to India. However, officials have not ruled it out altogether.
In an apparent dissatisfaction over US-India trade ties, President Trump said, “We’re not treated very well by India.” But he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he is looking forward to his visit to India.
“I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot,” President Trump said.
While talking to reporters Trump further said, “He told me we’ll have seven million people between the airport and the event. And the stadium, I understand, is sort of semi under construction, but it’s going to be the largest stadium in the world. So it’s going to be very exciting… I hope you all enjoy it.”
President Trump along with his wife and First Lady Melania Trump will be on a two-day visit in India on February 24 and 25, during which they will visit Ahmedabad and New Delhi.
As per the reports, President Trump along with PM Modi are expected to give a speech at the newly build Motera stadium in Ahmedabad. Trump would inaugurate the stadium which is billed as the largest cricket stadium in the world. The event is set to be witnessed by lakhs of people in Ahmedabad.
Multiple agreements and deals were supposed to be tabled during the two days meeting between the two world leaders.
One of the notable agreements between the two leaders is of the poultry and dairy markets. As reported by news agency Reuters, India has offered to partially open its poultry and dairy markets in a bid for a limited trade deal during President Trump’s visit.
India is the world’s largest milk-producing nation and has traditionally restricted dairy imports to protect the livelihoods of 80 million rural households involved in this industry.
Now, it remains to be seen whether any major trade agreements would be signed during Trumps visit, after his negative comments.
(With PTI inputs)