There is no doubt that the non-signing of a comprehensive trade deal between India and the US which was much anticipated was a bit of a dampener on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the US when he met US President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
There was little explanation beyond the clichéd one that the deal had not been dropped but had been held in abeyance. Now has come US Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross’ statement that there is no structural issue between the two countries and the deal could be signed very quickly.
He said the Indian election has come and gone and since Modi has a clear, strong position in Parliament, it should be a lot easier to take decisive action. He, however, indicated that the US would not change its stand towards trade practices it found to be ‘unfair.’
Significantly, Ross said India could step up exports in place of Chinese products to the US markets. Apparently, India is being offered the bait of increased exports at the expense of China. What is true, however, is that under Donald Trump, the US is a hard bargainer and India would need to garner all its skills to strike a good deal with the Americans.