Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had an informal tele-meeting on July 16 to discuss an initial trade deal and a possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.


The initial trade deal has been in the works for two years. The US is seeking tariff concessions on US farm products while India is asking for trade concessions in its quest to strengthen trade ties with the US, EU, and the UK to expand markets and provide an alternative to China. India has also asked for the removal of mutual tariff hikes on steel and aluminum. 


Moreover, India has sought restoration of some of the benefits from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which was terminated in June 2019. The GSP is a US trade program that promotes economic growth in developing countries by providing duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products. The US administration had earlier criticized India for unfair trading practices, which led to at least 50 products exported by India to the US being affected. 


In the initial deal, the US has kept 24 Indian products under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) list. The designation disallows those products to bid in US contracts involving US government agencies. Labor departments in both countries will meet on the matter. Another area of contention is the US-India Social Security Totalisation Agreement that must meet US statutory requirements. The statute secures the social security contributions of professionals on both sides. 


Goyal also spoke with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week on the possibility of a  broader Free Trade Agreement, but a response is still awaited. 

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