Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said there were no trade disputes between India and the United States, PTI reported. The minister claimed there were merely some disagreements between the two countries, pointing out the huge size of bilateral trade and investment potential.
“There is no trade dispute with the US,” Goyal said during a ministerial panel discussion at the India Energy Forum in New Delhi. “We had certain disagreements, but I don’t think that there is…any relationship where there are no disagreements at all. I think we welcome some argument. A little bit of uncertainty helps in taking things forward.”
Goyal’s remarks came in the backdrop of the decision of the United States government in June to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences, or trade tariff incentives, on Indian products. The Donald Trump administration had terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing country under the programme, claiming that India had not assured the US that it would “provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets”.
On October 3, Goyal and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross discussed ways to increase bilateral trade. India and the US are also negotiating a trade deal to boost two-way commerce.
Goyal on Tuesday said his discussions with Ross helped improve bilateral relations. Referring to the withdrawal of preferential trading norms, Goyal said it could be a “dispute in the eyes of some, but I think it opened up an opportunity for me to have a dialogue with my colleague [US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer]. We had some wonderful discussions”.
Goyal also said there was huge potential for India to deal with US energy firms. “There is huge potential on the gas side and also in nuclear energy,” he added. “The US and India have a robust relationship, which has huge potential going forward...We should not look at incremental growth in our relationship. We should be looking at a quantum leap. We have set a half-trillion-dollar target.”
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