India, US can aim for $1 trillion trade in next 10 years: Piyush Goyal

Synopsis

“I’m happy to look at a trillion dollar target for the next 10 years between the US and India. I’m happy to engage with the US, and look for expanding our economic partnership so that then all four members of the QUAD would have very strong economic ties with each other,” Goyal said at an event organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said that India and the US can aim for a bilateral trade target of $1 trillion in the next ten years and that talks on a free trade agreement got stuck in red tape despite getting concluded many times but India was not responsible for it.

“I’m happy to look at a trillion dollar target for the next 10 years between the US and India. I’m happy to engage with the US, and look for expanding our economic partnership so that then all four members of the QUAD would have very strong economic ties with each other,” Goyal said at an event organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

India, Japan, Australia and the US comprise the QUAD.

“We already have an FTA with Japan; we are working on an early harvest FTA with Australia. So now its up to the U.S. and India to engage in a much bigger way and I would urge you impress upon your administration,” he said.

The US is India’s second largest trading partner with bilateral trade of $80.5 billion in FY21.

“And unless you take some very ambitious targets, we will never get there,” he said.

The two sides had been working on finalising a trade agreement for almost two years but last month, Goyal said that the US, as of now, has indicated that they are not looking for new trade agreements, but will work on market access issues on both sides.

“We had actually concluded discussions, maybe three or four times. But it would always get stuck somewhere in red tape and for a change. India was not responsible,” Goyal said at the USISPF event.

The minister said that “unfortunately it didn’t work out”.

On being asked about non-tariff barriers that India has put in place, Goyal said that India also faces “a lot of” non tariff barriers while exporting to the US to Europe.

“So these non tariff barriers are there in all countries, but we can’t change your standards. We can meet those standards and likewise, obviously we will expect American businesses to meet Indian standards,” he said.

As of December, 2020, 83% of Indian standards for various products were completely harmonized to internationally accepted standards.

He also said that India has not lost out because of regional pacts like RCEP as the country has trade pacts with ASEAN, Japan, Korea, Mauritius, SAFTA and in talks with Australia, and that Covid-19 has highlighted that supply chains should not be based only on one factor that is cost, but also trust.

More information
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/india-us-can-aim-for-1-trillion-trade-in-next-10-years-piyush-goyal/articleshow/86623526.cms?from=mdr