Desi News

In midst of sharp bilateral differences, study shows U.S.-India trade likely to grow rapidly

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), a high profile group of top business leaders that espouses the mission of creating “the most powerful strategic partnership” between the United States and India, estimates that U.S.-India bilateral trade is likely to grow from $143 billion to $238 billion by 2025.

From left, USISPF President Mukesh Aghi, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Ed Monser, discussing U.S.-India relations July 11, 2019. (Photo USISPF Facebook)

This growth however, is conditional on trade continuing to grow at 7.5% each year, according to the 19-page report entitled, “U.S.-India Bilateral Trade Report” released July 11.

The estimate also projects that, by 2025, bilateral trade could range between $283 billion to $327 billion, at an annual average growth rate of 10%-12.5%, which was the case in 2017 and 2018, a press release about the report said.

These predictions come in the midst of a particularly thorny relationship where President Trump has repeatedly called out India, the latest volley being on July 9 when he tweeted, “India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!”  In Washington revoked India’s privileges under its Generalized System of Preferences for trade partners last year as well.

In June India raised tariffs on some U.S. goods in what seemed like a retaliation for American increases on products from India, the relationship alternating between delaying tactics and tit-for-tat that has been going on for a year, beginning with the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports more than a year ago in March 2018.

Nevertheless, the USISPF report paints a somewhat rosy picture of possibilities, zeroing in on potential for growth in U.S. investments in areas of defense trade, commercial aircrafts, oil and LNG, coal, machinery and electronics

Similarly, Indian industry has an opportunity to promote the automotive, pharmaceuticals, seafood, IT and travel services to the U.S. market, the USISPF contends.

The report comes on the heels of the USISPF’s second annual leadership summit attended by U.S. Cabinet officials and top elected leaders, as well as India’s Ambassador to the United States, Harsh Shringla. During the summit, speakers highlighted areas of bilateral cooperation, including: trade and investment; strategic energy ties; manufacturing, and the U.S.-India innovation partnership, the press release said.

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