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Trade deficit with US has narrowed down says commerce minister

Notwithstanding the frequent outbursts against India by US President Donald Trump for its protectionist measures, India said there has been encouraging growth in the country’s purchases of US made civilian aircrafts (Boeing) by Indian companies and enhancement of cooperation in the energy sector. 

The Indian defense to Trumps outbursts was led by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu who during two day official visit to Washington on June 11 and 12 told the leaders of US industry India purchased huge quantities of shale gas and Liquified Natural Gas. These purchases have already narrowed the trade deficit between the two countries by 2017.

 The Commerce Minister also pointed out that India’s rapid economic growth will create significant new market opportunities in other areas for US imports besides civil aviation and petroleum. Future sales will sustain the trend of reducing the trade deficit with US and create a balanced trade relationship between the two countries, the Indian minister said. 

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and defense minister Nirmala Sitaraman will be in Washington early next month to sort out the issues of trade deficit which has dampened the relations between the two countries during the last one year. The meeting comes in the wake of two tweets by President Trump openly criticizing India for levying high duty on US imports while claiming that US did not impose similar measures against exports from India.

Mr Prabhu during his just concluded visit to Washington held discussions with the US Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

 He also had a joint meeting with the India Caucus Co-chairs Senator Mark Robert Warner and Senator John Cornyn. The meetings were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, with appreciation for each other's points of view. Discussions centered around bilateral trade and commercial relations between the two countries and focused on finding the way forward to address concerns of both sides. 

In this context, it was agreed that Indian and US officials would meet at a senior level at an early date to discuss various issues of interest to both sides and carry forward the discussions in a positive, constructive and result oriented manner. 

During the visit, Suresh Prabhu also addressed business and industry leaders in meetings organized by US-India Business Council (USIBC) and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and held meetings with other stakeholders.


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