Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Wants India to Up Buying of Ag Products

The U.S. wants India to buy at least another $5-6 billion worth of American farm goods if New Delhi wants to win reinstatement of a key U.S. trade concession and seal a wider pact, four sources familiar with the talks told Reuters News Service on Friday. 

President Donald Trump cited trade barriers last year when removing India from its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program that allowed zero tariffs on $5.6 billion of exports to the United States. In retaliation, India responded by slapping higher tariffs on more than two dozen U.S. products. 

Ahead of an expected Trump visit to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi next month, negotiators on both sides are hammering out terms for a trade deal that would include New Delhi rolling back the higher tariffs on some farm goods, such as almonds, walnuts and apples, one of the sources told Reuters. 

As part of the negotiation, the U.S. also wants India to increase imports of frozen poultry products, one source said. The U.S. has already been pushing India to cut its high import taxes on poultry products. "The deal has to be agriculture focused, the U.S. is putting a number on everything (if India wants GSP back)," said one of the sources, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the discussions. 

Both governments had hoped to work out a limited trade deal last year, but struggled to reach an agreement.