U.S. President Donald Trump, days before the visit to India, casts doubts over the possibility of an anticipated trade deal. On Tuesday, Trump was leaving the White House for a trip to California when he told the reporters, “Well, we can have a trade deal with India, but I’m really saving the big deal for later on.”
Last year, the U.S. President revoked India’s status as a ‘developing nation’ that allowed some Indian exports tariff-free access to the U.S. market. India and U.S. both have been trying to sign a modest deal that will open up India to American exports of agriculture products and medical devices in return for a restoration of India’s preferential status.
Trump further told the reporters on Tuesday that he wanted to do “a very big trade deal with India,” but he doesn’t know “if it will be done before the election.”
“We’re not treated very well by India, but I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot,” he added.
Trump is very excited to visit India as he earlier stated, “He (PM Modi) 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.”
Officials who are engaged in the negotiation said they are expecting an announcement during Trump’s visit to the country on February 24 and 25. They have been trying to put together a limited accord of giving the U.S. greater access to India’s dairy and poultry markets and reducing the tariff on other products.
Since Trump became the U.S. President in 2017, the long-standing US-India trade differences have increased. Trump called India the tariff king, and both the nations took tit-for-tat tariff imposition last year.
After China, the United States is the second-largest trade partner of India. The US-India trade relation is approximately 62 percent in goods and 38 percent in services. Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer put off his trip to India after the two sides failed to narrow differences regarding the trade deal.