NEW DELHI : Though Donald Trump’s 9-day visit might not turned up an instant India-US trade deal, talks for free trade pact between the countries have progressed considerably, indicate sources close to the Commerce Ministry.
Trade issues are complicated and talks leading to Free Trade Agreement(FTA) can be time consuming, the reason why Modi govt has put off trade deal this time around.
A top government source told The Print on condition of anonymity “We are doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I dont know if it’ll be done before the US election in Nov, but we’ll have a very big deal with India.”
In entering into FTA, the Modi govt forgets gross losses the country suffered in similar deals of the past, including ASEAN free trade agreement. Americans naturally are delighted at the prospects of trade talks eventually opening up the Indian markets for their products. However several sectors will be hit and our agricultural and dairy will bear the biggest brunt.
The current plan is to set aside FTA during the visit and focus on defence trade deals instead. Agreement would be signed to procure 24 Sea Hawk helicopters with costs amounting to Rs 25 Crore. US will also hand down integrated anti-aircraft weapons systems in a deal worth $ 18 million. Energy sector too will witness similar pacts. Petronet and US gas major Telenor will sign a $ 25 billion trade deal.