New Delhi: The new trade deal between the United States and India will be a ‘win-win situation’ for both nations, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday. India and the US have been negotiating a deal to iron out differences on trade issues to boost economic ties. Also Read - 'If We Can Help, Would Love to Help', Trump Reiterates Offer to Mediate Between India And China
“I spoke with Ambassador Lighthizer (US Trade Rep). We agree that we can look at doing it before elections also or soon after. I’m open to signing up tomorrow,” Goyal said at the virtually organised US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s 3rd Annual Leadership Summit. Also Read - 'We Are Going to Have to See What Happens': Trump Refuses to Commit to Peaceful Transfer of Power if he Loses
“The whole package is nearly ready and can be finalised at any time when the local political situation in the US permits them to. India believes that it has to be a win-win situation for both India and the US,” he said. Also Read - US Has The Most Powerful Weapons Ever Produced, Says Trump; Hopes He Will Never Have to Use Them
It is in the interest of India and the US to deepen our strategic partnership with this trade deal, the minister said.
“It will open the doors to starting a dialogue on a larger bilateral engagement and I do hope we can move to the next stage of larger engagement for a free trade agreement,” he affirmed.
On Monday, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump have a strong personal bond and a strong commitment to do a trade deal, “so there’s a chance” that the deal may be formulated even before the November 3 presidential elections in the United States.
“The time is short before the US elections and a lot of governments around the world are hedging a little bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indian government as well,” the American diplomat added.
The US remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20, after surpassing China the previous year.
According to the data of the commerce ministry, in 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at USD 88.75 billion, as against USD 87.96 billion in 2018-19.
The US is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. The trade gap between the countries has increased to USD 17.42 billion in 2019-20 from USD 16.86 billion in 2018-19, the data showed.