As per official sources, Goyal will discuss outstanding bilateral issues with USTR when the two meet on November 13. This is Goyal’s second visit to the US in the last two months and comes close at the heels of India opting out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement as of now. India has already said that it is exploring free trade agreements with the US and the European Union.
“The effort is to arrive at an understanding on a mutually beneficial basis,” said an official.
He will also meet the US advocacy group Advanced Medical Technology Association which acts as the common platform for companies producing medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems.
Price controls on medical devices, restoration of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), duty cuts on Harley Davidson bikes and mobile
phones along with market access to American agricultural commodities including almonds, nuts and berries have been on the agenda of the limited scope trade deal that the two have been discussing before finalising a larger trade deal. New Delhi has been seeking increased market access for certain agricultural goods including fruit and vegetables.
The US terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing country for the preferential benefits under GSP to Indian exports effective June 5 after determining that it has not assured of providing “equitable and reasonable access to its markets”.
A trade package was expected to be announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump in September.
Goyal recently told ET that protecting the farming community and religious sensitivities while importing products having animal feed in their food chain are the red lines in India’s trade negotiations with the US.
However, he also said that there are always certain issues where one takes extra precautions and ensures that it doesn’t affect the Indian ecosystem but usually in a trade deal, there are no complete no-no’s.
Goyal will be on the tour of Brazil and US from November 9-14.
Before visiting the US, the minister will travel to Brazil to participate in the BRICS Trade Ministers’ meet on November 11 ahead of the BRICS Summit to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Discussions at the BRICS Trade Ministers meet will focus on issues such as trade cooperation, investment facilitation, e-commerce, MSMEs and intellectual property rights.