India-U.S. trade talks to restart Friday with little sign of compromise

Indian and U.S. trade negotiators will meet on Friday (July 12), with little sign of a compromise on a series of protectionist measures taken by the two governments in recent months that have strained ties between the strategic partners.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been putting pressure on India to do more to open its markets, saying this week again on Twitter its high tariffs were “unacceptable.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, re-elected in May, has been pushing nationalist policies with higher tariffs on everything from electronic goods to tighter controls on foreign firms in the fast growing e-commerce market to help foster domestic companies and create jobs for millions of youth.

A delegation led by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (AUSTR) for South and Central Asia, Christopher Wilson, will meet Indian officials to try to re-start negotiations on tit-for-tat tariffs that were put on hold because of India’s election.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said during a briefing that India was looking to resolve trade issues, many of which were discussed in Osaka, where Modi and Trump met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in June.

During the briefing, Kumar also slammed a United Nations report that said arbitrary detentions during search operations by Indian troops in Indian-administered Kashmir are leading to a range of human rights violations. He said the report presented a “false and motivated narrative” on the state of the region.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is claimed in full by India and Pakistan, who both rule it in part and have fought two wars over the territory. They came close to a third in February after the suicide bombing of a convoy claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group killed 40 paramilitary police.

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