On A War Footing
As the tariff war between the US and China heightens, there is a wealth of opportunities for Indian exporters to leverage the situation and increase their trade to these two markets. Recognising this potential, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has asked exporters and other stakeholders to flag issues they’re facing so that the Ministry can find solutions and push the volume of exports higher. The statement was made against the background of a continued push by India to reduce its trade deficit with China, as well as its refusal to rollback higher duties imposed on the import of almonds from the US.
At the same time, exporters and trade organisations have also begun to make stringent demands for more concrete steps to improve their trade prospects. From rice exporters seeking duty cuts under the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to FIEO asking the government to ease regulations for greater capacity building for exporters, India’s exports are now preparing to push forward on a war footing. Emboldened by new opportunities opening up, as well as a relatively stable economy as compared to other Asian countries, the time is perfect for Indian exporters to push for a greater piece of international trade.
Govt, exporters discuss strategy to increase exports to US, China
To help India maximise the benefits from the on-going tariff war between the US and China, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has asked exporters to flag concerns related to availability of land and labor, setting up of common effluent treatment plants, cluster development, and necessary logistics support in ports, airports and customs. “The Ministry will then be able to iron out the issues impeding India’s exports and facilitate the exporters to take maximum benefit from the tariff escalation between the US and China,” Goyal said, addressing an interactive session organised in New Delhi on 31st July by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on emerging opportunities to enlarge India’s exports to the US and China.
India keeps pushing to cut trade deficit with China
Despite a narrowing of India’s trade deficit with China recently, New Delhi is calling on its neighbor to absorb more of its products to further bridge the gap. “That kind of deficit is not economically sustainable, and it can also become politically sensitive if we don’t take steps to address the deficit,” Indian Ambassador to Beijing Vikram Misri recently told state-run China Daily in Beijing. India’s trade deficit with China is running at above $53 billion.
India refuses to rollback higher duties levied on almonds imported from the US
India will not rollback higher duties slapped on almonds, one of the 28 American goods on which New Delhi had levied retaliatory tariffs in June, a senior government official said. In its meeting with Indian officials earlier in July, US trade officials had sought a withdrawal of higher duties on almonds. “We refused the relaxation on tariffs on almonds imported from America by trade officials of the Donald Trump administration who visited India a few weeks ago,” the official told Moneycontrol.
Rice exporters want Centre to obtain duty cuts at RCEP
India’s non-basmati rice exporters want the government to bargain hard in the ongoing RCEP negotiations, seeking duty cuts from ASEAN nations, the second largest market for the cereal. Though India is the largest exporter of rice, it does not have any say in the Southeast Asian region, where four of the top five markets are located. “We would like the government to press for duty cuts on rice exports in the RCEP talks,” said BV Krishna Rao, President of the Rice Exporters Association.
FIEO wants govt to ease regulations to build capacities for increased exports to US, China
Indian exporters want the government to ease regulatory norms in order to help them build capacities to gain from the on-going trade war between China and the US. “The government has asked us for inputs on how to increase exports to China and the US given the fact that the two have imposed high tariffs on each other’s products creating opportunities for third country imports...We strongly feel that India is in a position to exploit the opportunity but capacity constraint is the biggest bottleneck,” said Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).