'India Is A Tough Negotiator': Alyssa Ayres On India-US Trade Ties

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Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow, CRF spoke about the trade deal between India and the US to Republic TV and addressed India as a fairly tough trade negotiator.

Written By Prachi Mankani | Mumbai | Updated On:

Leading the broadcast live from the US, Republic TV spoke to Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (CRF), where she spoke about the much-headlined trade deal between India and the US and addressed India as a fairly tough trade negotiator. US President Donald Trump had recently said that his country will soon have a trade deal with India and assured of a larger trade deal between India and the United States.

Speaking about the trade announcement that was made and asserted how this deal will help in resolving problems on a larger scale.

"The two sides are too far apart to actually reach an agreement. This is not really a trade deal in the sense of free trade agreement or a comprehensive partnership agreement. This is a small scale effort to try to resolve problems so that we can advance to the next steps. I hope that we can get further along on this path. It would be important to do so, frankly, it would be important for the Indian Economy to unleash India's potential, that ambition for the five trillion dollar economy. So I hope we can see something down the line."

'India is a tough trade negotiator'  

Furthermore, she mentioned India to be a hard bargain in terms of how India positions itself on its International Economic policies. She stated that-

"We are waiting for the trade deal, where is the trade deal. India is a very tough trade partner, a tough negotiator. You can ask any former US negotiator and they would probably have the same view, whether they came from democratic or republican administration. So, It would great to even see a small deal as of now," she added.

She also threw light upon the need for investment announcements in terms of growth for trade between the two countries and said, "Investment announcements are important and they should continue. We have seen growth in two ways, trade, and good services between the US and India. However, it could probably increase much more and faster if we were able to resolve the regulatory policy challenges that are sticking points between us."

On being asked about the change in relations between India and the US after PM Modi assumed the office, she said-

"Frankly speaking, this has been one of the very few handfuls of foreign policy issues that have been a bipartisan success on the US side and well as on the Indian side. We have seen I think both the countries becoming closer and closer really, from the year 2000 forward and we have overcome some of the really big hurdles that made it much harder to cooperate . We still have trouble with the trade issue and I think we are going to continue to see that. PM Modi has been willing to be seen for example, as the Friend of the United States. I think what we see between India and the US is the culmination of work that previous governments have done to lay the groundwork for the progress that continues."

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India-US trade relations 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, September 24. Speaking about negotiations over a trade deal with India, President Trump said, “We are doing very well, and I think very soon we will have a trade deal. We’ll have a larger deal down the road in a little bit but we will have a trade deal very soon.”

However, no timeline was given by either side regarding the finalization of the deal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session and discussed with him bilateral ties. The two countries are negotiating a trade package to iron out bilateral trade issues and promote two-way commerce. The US has been pressuring India to lower duties on its products and address the trade deficit. Speaking at the press conference, Modi said-

"As far as trade is concerned, I am very happy that in Houston, in my presence there was an agreement signed by Indian company Petronet for USD 2.5 billion, which is the amount of investment the Indian company is going to do in the energy sector and this will mean that in the years to come, this will result in trade of an amount of USD 60 billion and create 50,000 jobs which I think is a big initiative taken by India."

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