US-India trade talks: Assistant USTR Christopher Wilson to lead American team

 

US Trade Representative (USTR) officials will be arriving in New Delhi on Thursday to hold talks with their Indian counterparts on the issue of tariffs.

Assistant USTR for India Christopher Wilson will be leading the American team. The delegation will also include Deputy Assistant USTR Brendan Lynch.

“Since India’s election period has now passed, USTR officials will be visiting India for relationship-building with their Indian government counterparts, including introductory meetings for the new Assistant USTR for India, Christopher Wilson,” USTR spokesperson said.

The visit comes days after President Donald Trump accused India of imposing high import duties on American products.

“India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!,” Trump had tweeted on Tuesday.

This would be the first engagement between the two sides on trade issues after the meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with Trump in Osaka on the sidelines of the G20 Summit last month.

The trade talks between the two countries slowed down after Washington rolled back the privileges that New Delhi was enjoying under their GSP or Generalised System of Preferences programme since June 5.

The GSP, implemented since 1974, is the largest and oldest US trade-preference scheme and it allows duty-free imports for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

On its part, India had imposed retaliatory tariffs on 25 American goods, less than two weeks after the Trump administration announced an end to the preferential trade treatment for India.

During the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to New Delhi last month, India and the US had acknowledged there were issues between the two countries on trade and committed themselves to remove differences between them.

After talks with Pompeo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had told the media that both the countries should take “constructive and pragmatic view” on the issues pertaining to trade between them.

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