India-US trade deal may happen only after US Presidential election: Report

February 18
13:29 2020

India and the United States may sign a trade deal after the US Presidential election, when talks will resume only in November 2021, The Times of India reported.

The development seems likely as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer cancelled his plan to visit India before President Donald Trump’s scheduled visit on February 24-25.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

The early visit could have helped Lighthizer negotiate terms of the deal with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. While the two sides have made progress, a political-level meeting to finalise details such as quotas and tariffs is needed, the paper said.

India has communicated its ‘red lines’ to the US and “the ball is in their court”, sources told the paper.

The Hindu reported that Goyal and Lighthizer have had a number of telephone conversations over the past few weeks and the latter could still visit India as a part of Trump’s entourage to seal a “mini trade deal”.

Negotiations between the two countries have been on for a long time, and the trade deal was widely expected to be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in September 2019.

The US Presidential Election will take place in November 2020.

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