Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath expressed
the hope that India-US bilateral trade would double
by 2009 as India engages its largest trading partner
to iron out divergences on issues of trade and commerce.
who is in Washington for the US-India Business Council''s
32nd anniversary met US secretary of state Condoleezza
Rice and had bilateral meetings with commerce secretary
Carlos Gutierrez, treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson
Jr., agriculture secretary Mike Johanns, US trade representative
Susan Schwab and World Bank president Robert Zoellick.
at a press conference in Washington, he said that India
and the US enjoyed healthy relations with a total trade
volume of almost $30 billion in the last fiscal, with
the US accounting for 16.8 per cent of Indian exports
and 6.3 per cent of its imports.
reiterated India''s commitment to take the Doha round
of World Trade talks forward as New Delhi wanted to
see a strong multilateral system in place as a powerful
instrument of delivering international prosperity.
like the United States, do not want to see the multilateral
system fractured by the failure of the Doha talks, and
our inability to engage with each other candidly and
fruitfully," he said, seeking mutual respect for
each other''s sensitivities.
no industrial tariffs, India can be flexible, Nath said
and pointed out that such flexibilities are contingent
upon other things such as ''non-agricultural market access''
are caused by subsidies, Nath said offering to take
10-per cent higher cut than what the developed countries
were willing to take. But US, in the name of a little
headroom, wanted them to take double the cuts.
Nath said, is seeking a more balanced, a more just and
a more development-oriented outcome in the WTO that
redresses the structural flaws in global trade. The
future of international trade lies not in tariff-reduction,
which is going to happen in any case, but in meaningful
reform of the rules, Nath said.
is seeking a balanced package on services trade, as
one could not afford to restrict the agreement to merchandise
trade only in today''s globalised world. He pointed out
that India had unilaterally taken steps to open its
own services markets beyond what was required under
the Uruguay Round commitments.