Hoping to have trade deal with US soon: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Trade differences between India and the United States are narrowing, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday and expressed hope that the two countries will enter into a deal soon.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Sitharaman said that the Commerce Ministry is working on the trade deal with Washington and hopes to conclude the negotiations soon.

“I know the intensity with which the negotiations are going on. The few issues on which there could be some differences are being sorted out. I hope that there will be an agreement sooner. Obviously narrowing (of difference) is happening,” Sitharaman said.

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Tensions on the trade front between the two countries had emerged in June after US President Donald Trump revoked preferential trade privileges, in response to which India imposed tariffs on 28 US products, including almonds and apples.

India had been the biggest beneficiary of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), a programme designed to help developing countries sell to US consumers.

The Finance Minister is in Washington to attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

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