The US and Indian trade teams started negotiations on Friday as tensions mounted over protectionist measures both sides have taken.
While India and the Unites States have become increasingly close in recent years, the US President, Mr. Donald Trump, took a swipe saying that India’s tariffs were 'no longer acceptable'.
Washington removed India from a list of countries that got duty-free access for more than 6 billion dollars of imports to the US earlier this year. The move came on the back of higher US tariffs on Indian steel and aluminum.
In response, an angry New Delhi slapped higher duties on 28 US products, including almonds, apples and walnuts last month. The US Commerce Secretary, Mr. Wilbur Ross had earlier criticised India’s trade policies and tariff rules, saying they posed a big impediment to attracting foreign investment.
As the sparring heated up, Mr. Trump and the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, ordered the talks when they met in Osaka, on the sidelines of June’s G20 Summit.
The Assistant US Trade Representative, Mr. Christopher Wilson, met the Commerce Industry officials in Delhi on Friday, ahead of a meeting with the Commerce Minister, Mr. Piyush Groyal, ministry sources said.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mr. Raveesh Kumar said all decisions in the talks would aim to keep relations 'positive'.
'We have to keep in mind the bigger picture and within that bigger picture try to address all the issues which are on the table,' Mr. Kumar told a briefing.
India-US trade was worth 142.1 billion dollars in 2018 with the US 24.2 billion dollars in deficit. The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum has predicted trade will go up to 238 billion dollars by 2025.