October 22- On India-US trade connections: “Both I and USTR Robert Lighthizer have realized that we have huge potential… We will hopefully come out with the first set of agreements soon….” On RCEP: “Every interest of domestic industry and people of India has to be guarded before we execute any FTA. We won’t squander away FTAs as we saw in the 2009-10 period of the Congress regime.” PIYUSH GOYAL.
In a clear sign that India and the US are close to discovering common ground on their trade issues that started looking intractable, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Monday stated here that the two sides “have almost sorted the wide contours” of an imminent trade in this regard. He even subtly said at a “much larger engagement between the two countries in the days ahead”, hinting at the chance of a bigger bilateral trade agreement.
This is perhaps the first time New Delhi is making it extremely clear that the differences between the two sides on a host of trade problems have indeed reduced. A limited deal was expected to be released when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump on September 24 but that was not to be, as both practically stuck to their stances.
Later, on October 4, acknowledging the India Economic Summit arranged by the World Economic Forum here, US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross stated there was no need why a limited trade deal with India couldn’t be signed quickly, even as he questioned New Delhi to evaluate the interest of large e-tailers like Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart with offline retailers’ in its e-commerce policy.