India, U.S. discuss ways to increase trade

Union Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said that India-U.S. trade pact were off the table for now

August 20, 2021 02:54 pm | Updated 07:04 pm IST - New Delhi

Union Minister Piyush Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal

A day after Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that hopes of an India-U.S. trade pact are off the table for now, U.S. Chargé D’affaires in India Atul Keshap, spoke to the Indian Minister for over two hours, discussing trade between the two countries.

While Keshap tweeted about the meeting, there were no immediate comments from the Commerce Ministry over the discussions that happened on Friday.

"I had a very useful exchange of views with Commerce Minister PiyushGoyal about how USIndia trade can and should attain the $500 billion vision set by Potus. Across our spirited 2+ hour discussion we agreed our democracies should work more closely to advance our mutual prosperity," Mr. Keshap tweeted.

Meanwhile, Mr. Goyal, while speaking at an industry event in Mumbai on Thursday, had said that hopes of an India-U.S. trade pact are off the table for now, with the Joe Biden administration conveying to India that it is not interested in a free trade agreement.

"The U.S. as of now has kind of indicated that they are not looking for new trade agreements, but we look at working with them for more market access issues on both sides and I think that would also be a big relief and a big opportunity opener for our export sector," he had said.

According to the Commerce Ministry data, in 2020-21, the bilateral trade between the U.S. and India stood at $80.5 billion as compared to $88.9 billion in 2019-20.

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