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Tariff shadow over Indo-US trade talks

The Tribune 2019-07-12 06:50:00
Despite the US’ displeasure, India has maintained that its tariffs are in line with the WTO rules

Days after US President Donald Trump again pulled up India for high tariffs, a high-level trade delegation from the US held informal meetings with an Indian delegation as a precursor to formal talks on Friday. 

“...the trajectory of the relationship remains positive. We have to keep in mind the bigger picture and within that try to address all the issues which are on the table,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Ravish Kumar said here today. “Our approach is to engage with them very constructively, in a very positive manner, ” he said.

The American team is headed by US Trade Representative Office in-charge of South and Central Asia Christopher Wilson, while the Indian team is led by an Additional Secretary level officer from the Ministry of Commerce. 

Sources said stalemate continued during the informal talks which covered the US annoyance over new rules on e-commerce to protect Indian retail trade that has hit Amazon and Walmart (Flipkart) and the RBI making it compulsory for Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc to set up local servers. 

Issues of higher tariffs on electronic products, cap on the prices of medical devices and mandatory certification for US dairy products are also the bone of contention. Kumar did not disclose areas where India is asking for concessions. 

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