Modi,Trump to try to narrow differences on trade issues

Modi and Trump are now set to meet on the sideline of the G-20 summit, which is scheduled to be held at Osaka in Japan on June 28 and 29. PTI File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump are expected to discuss ways to narrow differences on issues related to bilateral trade when they will meet in Japan next month.

Modi and Trump are now set to meet on the sideline of the G-20 summit, which is scheduled to be held at Osaka in Japan on June 28 and 29.

This is going to be Prime Minister's first bilateral meeting with US President after he led the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies to a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections. They had held the last bilateral meeting on the sideline of the East Asia summit at Manila in the Philippines on November 2017.

The US has been complaining about the imbalance in its trade with India. During his visit to New Delhi early this month, American Secretary of State Wilbur Ross pointed out that the US was India's largest export market and accounted for about 20% of its total export. Yet, he added, India was only the 13th largest export market of the US, “due to overly restrictive market access barriers”.

The Trump administration is likely to nudge New Delhi to lower the barriers to make it easier for US companies to do business in India. Earlier this year, it decided to end a preferential trade privilege granted to India in 1976 for exporting to US goods worth $ 5.6 billion duty-free.

India was also added to a list of countries suspected of currency undervaluation. Sources in New Delhi said that India also had serious concerns about issues related to its trade with the US. They pointed out that the US Government's move came even as the two nations had been negotiating a “package deal” to address concerns of both the nations.

The other issues likely to dominate Trump-Modi talks are India's concern over the hasty withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as a result of the peace process with Taliban and the impact that US sanctions on crude oil from Iran will have on energy security of India.

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