Days ahead of his India visit, US President Donald Trump on Thursday said the two countries could make a “tremendous” trade deal.
“We’re going to India, and we may make a tremendous deal there,” Trump said in his commencement address at the Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony in Las Vegas.
Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, is scheduled to travel to Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi on February 24 and 25.
Ahead of the visit, there have been talks about India and the United States agreeing on a trade package as a precursor to a major trade deal.
During his commencement address, Trump indicated that the talks on this might slowdown if he did not get a good deal.
“Maybe we’ll slow down. We’ll do it after the election. I think that could happen too. So, we’ll see what happens,” he said.
“But we’re only making deals if they’re good deals because we’re putting America first. Whether people like it or not, we’re putting America first,” Trump said.
Bilateral India-US trade in goods and services is about three per cent of the US’ world trade.
As per a fact sheet issued by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), trade in goods and services between the two countries from 1999 to 2018 surged from USD 16 billion to USD 142 billion.
India is now the United States’ eighth-largest trading partner in goods and services and is among the world’s largest economies.
India’s trade with the United States now resembles, in terms of volume, the US’ trade with South Korea (USD 167 billion in 2018) or France (USD 129 billion), said Alyssa Ayres from CFR.