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Post positive Modi-Trump meet, trade officials to meet 'very soon'

New Delhi

04-July-2019

 Trade officials of India and the US will meet "very soon" to discuss issues related to commerce and 5G, following up on recent talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump in Japan's Osaka.

US officials are likely to visit India in the next couple of weeks to discuss niggling trade issues. Before his meeting with Modi last week, Trump had tweeted criticism of India for levying "tremendously high" duties on US products.

On the issue of 5G technology, where the US has demanded that countries ban Chinese telecom major Huawei's 5G network because of its reported ability to spy on them, India has made it clear to the US that it is not an issue of difference but where both sides can work together.

"The broad trajectory of Indo-US ties is very positive, we have convergences on a range of issues," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a briefing here, adding that the discussions between the two leaders were very positive.

"It is important to understand that in any relationship that is multi-dimensional like India and the US, there are bound to be certain differences, and perspectives where we share a different approach. How we handle it is the key. And flowing out of the meeting (Modi-Trump) what we agreed was that on all the issues, we will continue to talk," the spokesperson said.

He said that on the issue of trade, "both sides are to meet very soon, trade officials are to meet in the next couple of weeks".

On the issue of 5G, "we made it clear that it is not an issue of difference but where we can work with the US. We have the technology, we have the market, and we have to see how we can work to leverage individual competence, and also how perhaps we can work together under the Make in India initiative," he added.

"We are looking at some of these issues as an opportunity for both sides to work together," the spokesperson added.

On the US Senate passing a legislative provision that brings New Delhi on par with Washington's other NATO allies for deepening defence cooperation, Kumar said that India appreciates the widespread bipartisan support for the India-US strategic partnership in the US Congress. "We look forward to continuing facilitation from the US Congress for defence cooperation, trade and technology partnership," he added.

The National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) or the US defence budget, passed by the US Senate last week, contained a proposal for enhancing defence and strategic ties with India.

"It is the sense of the Senate that the United States should strengthen and enhance its major defence partnership with India," it said, listing six specific actions it wanted US President Donald Trump's administration to take in this regard.

It wanted the administration to strengthen and expand the scope of India's designation as a Major Defence Partner. India was accorded the status of Major Defence Partner in 2016 by then President Barack Obama, which was built upon by President Donald Trump. IANS