India-US trade deficit reaches $1.7 billion


With intensified trade relations between India and the US in recent years, the US Department of Commerce reported that the US has a trade deficit of $1.7 billion with India. The US has sought removal of trade and tax barriers in India. These issues are likely to figure in the discussions between New Delhi and Washington during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expected visit to the US in June.

Data also revealed that in March 2016, the US had a trade deficit of $26 billion with China—its largest trading partner.

The US’ goods and services deficit with India was $40.4 billion in March, down $6.5 billion from $47.0 billion in February. Exports, as of March 2016, were $176.6 billion, $1.5 billion less than February’s exports, while imports in the same month were $217.1 billion, $8.1 billion less than in February.

The US’ National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) came out with a new priority document on May 2, listing out certain steps that would reduce trade barriers. The document recommended that if these steps were taken and subsequently achieved, it would address key commercial barriers that US manufactures are facing in India.

The NAM further added that high tariffs as well as other trade barriers and policies in India continued to hinder trade growth for several manufacturing sectors. It also highlighted cumbersome customs processing and import licensing procedures.

The two countries have sought to increase their bilateral trade to $500 billion over the next few years. Elaborating on the need to achieve this target, the NAM said that India and the US need to expedite their discussions on key economic and commercial barriers to realise their bilateral dream.





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