Trade talks held with team of U.S

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump

Trade talks between the USA and India, which resumed on Thursday after a brief lull, will focus on tariffs, data localisation and e-commerce rules as officials from both sides try to iron out differences in the areas over the two-day meeting, a government official has said.

"Christopher Wilson visited India on July 11-12 to explore potential for enhanced bilateral trade and economic engagement with India under the new Government", the Ministry said in a statement.

US 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".

A delegation led by assistant United States 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.

The USTR delegation is likely to meet commerce minister Piyush Goyal along with key trade officials on Friday.

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Ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "Our approach is to engage constructively and positively". We have a matching delegation from our is being led by Additional Secretary-level officer from commerce ministry. "But Trump's tweet has shown their intention is to continue with a tough stance", another official said.

The two sides resumed talks after U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in June and agreed to seek to deepen the two countries' relationship.

"The initial talks between visiting officials from the U.S. and their Indian counterparts to break the ice between the two sides started on Thursday". The MEA spokesperson said that India and the U.S. during the meeting in Osaka had decided that officials from both sides would meet and resolve all outstanding trade issues.

In a recent meeting, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told trade ministry officials that "Trump is clearly preparing for a larger game, a larger opening", according to one of the officials aware of the discussions. The USTR has earlier pointed out in a reported that the data localisation requirements in India would serve as significant barriers to digital trade between the two countries and should be removed. The US wants greater market access for its dairy products and cut in customs duties in information and communications technology products. India slapped tariffs on U.S almonds and 27 other U.S products. A source privy to the ongoing discussions told CNBC-TV18 that it would be good for India to not look at this as a give and take meeting and India should be ready to grant concessions in the interest of the larger Indo-US strategic relationship. The rules have forced the two American companies to rework their business strategies for India.

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