Mike Pompeo to push in India for more US access to local markets, says America is open to dialogue to resolve trade differences

Washington: The United States is open to dialogue to resolve trade differences with India by allowing American companies more access to Indian markets, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday ahead of a visit to New Delhi later this month.

Pompeo’s remarks at the US-India Business Council refer to a decision by US President Donald Trump to end preferential trade treatment for India from 5 June over the trade barriers.

“We remain open to dialogue, and we hope that our friends in India will drop their trade barriers and trust in the competitiveness of their own companies," Pompeo said ahead of his 24-30 June travels to India, Sri Lanka, Japan and South Korea.

 Mike Pompeo to push in India for more US access to local markets, says America is open to dialogue to resolve trade differences

File image of Mike Pompeo. AP

“We’ll also push for the free flow of data across borders – not just to help American companies – but to protect data and ensure consumer privacy," Pompeo said.

Pompeo added: “And speaking of privacy, we are eager to help India establish secure communications networks – including 5G networks.”

The privileges come under the General System of Preferences, or GSP, which had been allowing preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion a year into the United States from the South Asian nations. India is the biggest beneficiary of the GSP programme.

Washington has been particularly annoyed by India’s tightening of regulations that have undermined major US companies but favoured domestic entities in the past year. In particular, tighter e-commerce rules that came in earlier this year hurt Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc, which last year bought Indian online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion.

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Updated Date: Jun 13, 2019 10:48:27 IST