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The Economic Times

USTR may visit India soon to seal limited scope deal

New Delhi: United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer is likely to visit India within the next two weeks as the two sides work towards resolving their bilateral trade issues. Sources said a limited scope trade deal is on the menu for his visit.

This will be the second high-level visit of an American trade official this month. US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross met commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on October 3.

“The USTR will visit India soon but the dates are yet to be firmed up,” said one official aware of the development. This would be current USTR's first visit to India.

India and the US have ruled out any structural reason or major issue holding back a bilateral trade deal, which was expected to be announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump last month. While the two sides have been entangled in a series of trade issues, restoration of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), price controls on medical devices, duty cuts on Harley Davidson bikes and market access to American agricultural commodities were discussed to be part of the limited scope trade deal.

Lighthizer’s visit is crucial as the office of the US trade representative had previously linked market access in the two areas of dairy and medical devices to continuation of GSP and also sought data-related relaxations, including in India’s ecommerce policy.

Earlier, there were talks that the GSP reinstatement would be partial because India is not likely to lift the price caps on medical devices.
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