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Nothing Positive for U.S. Agriculture From Presidential Visit to India


A posting on EGG-NEWS on Friday February 28th echoed the sentiments of Dr. Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, “that India was the most protectionist of nations in the world”. This is demonstrated by the fact that President Trump returned from his recent visit to India without a trade agreement.  Prospects of a deal were dampened by the news that U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer had cancelled plans to visit the nation in advance of the visit by the President.


Following negotiations in New Delhi, a joint statement was issued confirming that President Trump and Prime Minister Modi had “agreed to promptly initiate ongoing negotiations which they hope could become Phase-One of a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement that reflects the true ambition and full potential of bilateral commercial relations, advancing prosperity, investment and job creation in both countries”. 


During the visit of President Trump, farmers protested against imports of U.S. chicken and ethnic riots occurred.


India may lose benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences that favors the nation enjoying a positive trade balance.  During 2018-2019 India exported $38.8 billion in goods to the U.S. while importing $26.3 billion in value.  The U.S. is India’s second trading partner after China and exports to our nation could exceed $50 billion in 2020. Are they willing to risk tariffs and other punitive measures?