‘America wants growing trade with India’

U.S. Commerce Secretary says rising imbalance in business is a concern for U.S.

Published - September 13, 2017 01:33 am IST - Washington

Wilbur Ross, U.S. commerce secretary, speaks during a Washington Post event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Ross reiterated the Trump administration's threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if a new deal favorable to the U.S. can't be reached with Mexico and Canada. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Wilbur Ross, U.S. commerce secretary, speaks during a Washington Post event in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Ross reiterated the Trump administration's threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if a new deal favorable to the U.S. can't be reached with Mexico and Canada. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The rising imbalance in trade with India is a concern for America and India must open its market to more American companies, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday.

Mr. Ross said India must also take more effective measures to protect innovation by improving its intellectual property protections.

The Commerce Secretary was addressing a gathering at the U.S.-India Business Council on the forthcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad in November.

“[U.S.] President [Donald] Trump and Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] have announced to co-host this year’s GES in Hyderabad and [they] reiterated the importance of close relations between our two growing economies. Annual bilateral trade between the U.S. and India has doubled over the last decade and was $114 billion in 2016. Unfortunately, over the same period, trade deficit tripled, now at $27 billion. We would naturally want to see growing and balanced trade,” Mr. Ross said, noting some of the recent developments such as the Spice Jet order for 120 planes from Boeing as signs of the Indian market’s promise.

He said the imbalance was visible in investments as well. While India’s investors invested $12.1 billion in the U.S. last year, U.S. investors invested $32.9 billion in India. Mr. Ross also pointed out that only 1.5 % of U.S. exports were to India, while only 6.3 % of Indian exports goes to America.

India and the U.S have decided to move to the 2+2 format of engagement involving the Secretaries of Defence and State Departments from the American side and Ministers for Defence and External Affairs Ministers from the Indian side.

The Strategic and Commercial Dialogue between the two countries is being discontinued from this year.

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