NEW DELHI (AFP) -The United States is eager to increase trade with India, a US official said Monday, after the two countries settled a bitter row over food subsidies and President Barack Obama announced he would visit in January.
US Trade Representative Michael Froman was speaking in New Delhi before the first round of trade talks for four years between the world’s largest economy and the emerging giant.
“The future of our partnership remains ours to define. We believe in the promise of India,” Froman told an Indian business audience. “Let’s deliver on that promise.”
Trade between the two countries stands at around $100 billion.
They reached a breakthrough agreement earlier this month in a long dispute over food subsidies that for months had been blocking a landmark global agreement to reduce trade barriers.
“Some suggest that the Indian and US breakthrough (unlocking the global trade deal) may have saved the multinational trading system,” Froman added.
“The breakthrough could not have been possible without the personal engagement of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and President (Barack) Obama,” he said.
The deal marked a crucial step towards the full implementation of a World Trade Organization agreement reached in December 2013 in Bali, which would streamline global customs procedures.