New Delhi: Outgoing US Ambassador Kenneth Juster said on Tuesday that "there are frictions and frustrations on the trade and investment front" and the two countries have not been able to conclude "even a small trade package" despite persistent efforts.
There is plenty of scope to expand the flow of goods and services between India and US to reach the full potential of the economic relationship, Juster said.
In his farewell address on 'Ambition and Achievement in the US-India Partnership' here, Juster said the United States' trade and investment relationship with India continues to grow and expand.
"In 2019, bilateral trade in goods and services had grown to over USD 146.1 billion, significantly up from USD 20.7 billion in 2001. Approximately 16 per cent of India's total exports now head to the United States. The United States is India's largest trading partner, and India the twelfth largest partner of the United States. The bottom line is that no other country contributes as much to job creation, consumer choice, technology diffusion, and economic improvement for Indians," he said.
"There are frictions and frustration on the trade and investment front. Despite persistent efforts, we are unable to conclude even a small trade package. Moreover, there are growing restrictions in India and market access for certain US goods and services," he added.
Juster said there is plenty of room to expand the flow of goods and services in both directions "Given the size of our respective markets, there is plenty of room to expand the flow of goods and services in both directions in order for us to reach the full potential of our economic relationship," he said.
“East Asia’s success was driven by increasingly open markets at home and deeper trade relations with the West, especially the United States… India should seek to lock in the benefits of its economic relationship with America by negotiating a comprehensive trade agreement, in a fair and reciprocal manner, that ensures access to both markets,” he added.
The US envoy said that the United States government is dedicated to supporting India's rise on the world stage.
He said that India's expanding economy is likely to become an important driver for growth in the Indo-Pacific region.
Juster also said the Indo-Pacific is particularly "significant" for India and US relationship because it recognises the reality that India and the Indian ocean are inextricably tied to East Asia and the Pacific.
He said that Washington sees New Delhi as a "critical partner" for preserving and expanding the peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
(With ANI inputs)