The United States and India are racing to negotiate a limited trade deal that U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi can sign at the United Nations General Assembly in New York at the end of September, people familiar with the talks said
A deal between the world’s most populous democracies would be a welcome victory for Trump, whose administration has made little headway negotiating an end to its prolonged trade war with China. Trump is also expected to sign a deal with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week that lowers Japanese farm tariffs.
Modi, like Trump, has used tariffs to try to boost investment in manufacturing, a key part of his “Make-In-India” campaign to attract foreign cash and create factory jobs for millions of youth entering the workforce.
Apple Inc supplier Foxconn recently expanded production of iPhones in India to avoid a 20% import tariff and diversify its supply chain from China.
Bilateral U.S. trade with India, at $142 billion last year, is just a fraction of the $737 billion in U.S.-China trade.The deal under discussion with India would lower some tariffs on U.S. produce and restore preferential treatment for some Indian exports to the United States, the sources said.
Trump and Modi will meet this Sunday in Houston at an Indian-American rally dubbed “Howdy Modi!” in a 50,000-seat stadium — a sign of their warming relations, which are contributing to expectations for a “mini-deal.”