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Home / News / India /  Modi-Trump talks: India, US negotiations on 'big trade deal' soon

NEW DELHI: At the conclusion of bilateral talks between India and US on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said both the countries will begin negotiations for a big trade deal soon.

“Our commerce ministers have had positive talks on trade. Both of us have decided that our teams should give legal shape to these trade talks. We also agreed to open negotiations on a big trade deal," Modi said after the talks held at the Hyderabad House in the national capital.

Despite robust diplomatic ties, India and the US have quibbled on trade for years now and across administrations.

Trump, who pursues an “America First" approach, has been very vocal about the perceived high tariff walls that India has put, often terming it “tariff king". India has denied the charge, holding that its tariff regime is fully compliant with its commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Modi today said India and the US discussed every important aspect of their partnership, be it defence and security, energy strategic partnership, trade or people to people ties. The strengthening in defence ties between India and US is an important aspect of bilateral ties.

India-US relations have been people driven and go beyond governments, Modi said. “The most important foundation of the special relationship between India and the USA is people to people contact. Professionals, students, the Indian diaspora in USA have a major contribution in this."

US President Donald Trump said, “Earlier today, we expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than $3 billion of advanced American military equipment, including Apache & MH-60 Romeo Helicopters - finest in the world. These will enhance our joint defence capabilities."

“During our visit we discussed the importance of a secure 5G wireless network and the need for this emerging technology to be tool for freedom, progress and prosperity," added Trump.

He said another major focus of discussions was forging bilateral economic relationships that are fair and reciprocal. “US-India partnership is truly stronger than ever before," the US president said.

Trump and Modi also decided to intensify efforts in counter-terrorism.

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