India to follow WTO rules, resolve issues through talks with US: Prabhu

India has a special ties with the US, which is strategic, multi-dimensional and multi-faceted, said Prabhu.

The Dollar Business Bureau

In the wake of increasing trade measures of the US against India and its decision to review eligibility of India for certain products for duty benefits, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Tuesday that in order to resolve all trade issues, Indian government is actively working with the US and is also following Word Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to protect the interests.

“I can assure you, the only guiding principle for engagement with the US is to protect India’s commercial interest in its entirety,” Prabhu said while speaking at the launch of a platform - ‘FIEO GlobalLinker’ for micro, small and medium scale exporters (MSME) for digitising their businesses. 

On April 13, the US announced that it will review India’s eligibility for duty-free access under the scheme of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The US also put India, among other five countries, on a monitoring list for alleged manipulation of currency. The other countries on the list include China, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Korea. 

Earlier, the US has also dragged India to the WTO, challenging almost all of India’s export subsidy schemes.

“In a situation like this, the US has taken certain unilateral actions. So we will follow rules of the WTO and we will talk to them,” Prabhu said.

“We are completely in control of the situation,” he added.

Prabhu further said that the US is an important trade partner and India has a special ties with the US, which is strategic, multi-dimensional and multi-faceted.

Over 4 million Indian nationals are living in the US and America is one of largest markets for Indian goods and services, he said.

On the issue of imposition of high tariffs on steel and aluminium by the US, the Minister said that the exports of these two commodities from India to the US are not significant. 

In 2017, goods worth $25.7 billion were exported by the US to India, an increase of 18.7% over a year ago. On the other hand, US imports from India were increased by 5.6% to $48.6 billion during the year. The trade deficit between the two countries declined by round 6% in 2017 as compared to a year ago, as per the latest report of US Trade Representative (USTR).

The Dollar Business Bureau - Apr 18, 2018 12:00 IST