US expresses concern over trade deficit, 'investment challenges' in India

trade deficit

The US on Friday expressed concern over the trade deficit with India and the challenges being faced by American companies to invest here.

Addressing the Indo-US Economic Summit here, US Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs Aileen Nandi however hoped to explore possibilities at the US-India Business CEO Forum to strike a trade balance between the two countries.

As per the Indian government data, India's exports to the US during 2018-19 were worth about $52.4 billion while imports bill stood at $35.55 billion.

The US trade deficit with India during 2018-19 stood at $16.85 billion, lower than $21.26 billion in the preceding year, the data showed.

"Bilateral trade relationship with India is broad and complex. The trade between the two countries has increased every year in the recent past. ...However, we are concerned about the trade deficit that we have with India," Nandi said.

The two-way trade between the US and India stood at $142 billion during 2018. During January-July 2019, the bilateral trade has increased 10.5 per cent over the last year period, she added.

Nandi also noted that the US was aware of the challenges that American companies continue to face in India.

She however observed that with Indo-US Business CEO Forum, having its interface regularly, the issues of mutual concerns relating to Indo-US trade would get resolved and investments from India to the US and vice-versa would apportion.

Nandi, in a statement later said, since the political relationship between India and the US has begun to grow and diversify with conciliatory mode and big ticket Indian businessmen aggressively making their investments in the US, the two-way trade would flourish in a manner that would address the concern of increasing trade deficit of the US towards India.

Asserting that there is scope to further boost trade with the US, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce National President S K Sarkar said the target is to achieve a bilateral trade of $500 billion by 2022.

Agriculture, defence, food processing and host of similar sectors assume large possibilities through which India and the US could come closer and cement their ties for enhanced trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, he said.

"We lag a little in export market as we are not part of the global supply chain. We need to understand the technological advances that are taking place all over the world and we could easily become economic leaders in the world," Sarkar said.

In services sector, he said India has a positive balance with the US. The granting of Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status to India puts India at an elevated level, he added.



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