Wed, 17 Jul 2019

New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): At a time when the US Trade Representative (USTR) officials are already in the country to mediate talks over trade disputes, India on Thursday said that it seeks very constructive and positive engagement with the US counterparts.

"Meeting with the US delegation is underway as we speak. There was a meeting followed by lunch, in the afternoon, and also it will resume again. It was decided in Osaka, where Prime Minister Modi and President Donald Trump met, that officials from both sides will meet to resolve all outstanding issues related to trade very soon," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at the weekly briefing.

"Our approach is to engage with them very constructively and in a positive manner," Kumar added.

The spokesperson said that the US delegation will be headed by Assistant USTR for India, Christopher Wilson and will also include Deputy Assistant USTR, Brendan Lynch.

"The delegation from our side will include additional secretary level officer from the Ministry of Commerce and members from the Ministry of External Affairs," Kumar said.

"There are many issues on the table. Most of them were discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump. Many of the issues are very technical in nature in terms of tariffs and others," he stressed.

The visit comes days after 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. (ANI)

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