U.S. trade officials will restart talks with their Indian counterparts Friday amid uncertainty over issues ranging from data localization and India’s retail policies to recent tariffs imposed by the South Asian nation.
U.S. President Donald Trump had earlier this week criticized India’s decision to impose higher tariffs on a slew of American goods. His trade officials are in New Delhi to meet foreign and trade ministry officials, according to Raveesh Kumar, India’s foreign ministry spokesman.
Christopher Wilson, assistant U.S. trade representative for south and central Asia and deputy assistant Brendan Lynch will on Friday discuss bilateral trade with India’s additional trade secretary and meet trade minister Piyush Goyal. Talks had stalled earlier over tariffs and revoked trade preferences for India. The U.S. is also challenging India’s retaliatory tariffs in a new case at the World Trade Organization.
Trump had said in a tweet on Tuesday India’s import tariffs on the U.S. were "No longer acceptable!” This was his second tweet in three weeks on India’s decision to raise tariffs. Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had agreed to restart trade negotiations after they met at the Group of 20 summit in Japan.
India is expected to highlight efforts to correct the trade imbalance with the U.S. -- New Delhi’s trade surplus with Washington fell sharply to $17.12 billion in the year ended March 31 from $21.26 billion a year ago, according to trade ministry data.
India imposed higher tariffs on almost 30 American products in response to Trump’s decision on June 1 to end trade concessions on $6.3 billion of Indian goods shipped to the U.S. India had repeatedly deferred imposing the new tariffs after announcing them last year as it kept the door open for talks to avert a trade war.