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US-India $500 billion Trade Target Achievable
Nov 12, 2018

A high-profile CEOs delegation led by Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President, CII and Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises will be visiting the US from 14 - 16 November 2018, to reinforce Indian Industry’s commitment to US - India business ties. The Business leaders will meet with diverse stakeholders – including senior government representatives, industry bodies and think tanks – in a bid to fortify the bilateral India-US strategic and economic relationship at this critical time.

With the US midterm elections just concluded, the delegation will aim to strengthen US Government, Congressional and US corporate ties with Indian industry and highlight trade and investment concerns at a time when the two Governments are working on negotiations on various issues. India-US trade in goods and services stands at $126 billion with a $27 billion trade balance in favour of India.

While trade negotiations are ongoing, both countries’ sustained investments in the other indicate a valuable and resilient economic relationship. Indian investments and job creation in the US continue to rise and the US has also been a significant contributor to the Indian economy. The ambitious $500 billion trade target, while achievable, will need steadfast commitment and reform on both sides. The US is India’s largest export destination and second largest source for imports and the two countries can achieve $500 billion trade by widening the trade basket and resolving impediments.

In recent months, the US has raised tariffs on its global imports of steel and aluminium, imposed higher duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and renegotiated the North American trade agreement. The US has a broad strategic agenda with India and has recently accorded it the Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 (STA-1) status. However, India is impacted by the metal tariffs, and the US has recently withdrawn GSP benefits to 50 products totalling $70 million of imports.

The delegation will hold several engagements through which the CII CEOs will deliberate on some of the most pressing economic issues in the bilateral agenda in areas such as commerce, defence equipment, agriculture, energy and high-tech goods. Engaging key stakeholders driving these discussions in Washington, D.C., the delegation aims to deliver future engagement strategies for both countries as well as opportunities for increased business collaboration.

Beginning with a briefing with Shri Navtej Sarna, Ambassador of India to the US, the delegation will call on and interact with a series of US Government officials during the course of their visit including Mr Gilbert Kaplan, Undersecretary of Commerce, US Department of Commerce; Dr Joe Felter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia and Mr Eric Chewning, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, US Department of Defense, Ms Ann-Marie Yastishock, Deputy Assistant Administrator, US Agency for International Development (USAID); Ms Elizabeth Urbanas, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia and the Americas, US Department of Energy; Mr Ken Isley, Administrator, Foreign Agriculture Service, US Department of Agriculture; Mr David Ranz, Acting Deputy Asistant Secretary, US Department of State and Ms Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for South and Central Asia.

The delegation will also meet with the co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, Congressman George Holding and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and highlight legislative issues in trade and strategic affairs. 

Interactions at The Hudson Institute and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will highlight strategic, defense and security imperatives, while a discussion led by Business Council on International Understanding (BCIU) will emphasize the US’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. A significant business roundtable with the US-India Business Council will deliberate the strategies that could support boosting bilateral trade to the ambition of $500 Billion.

The 2018 CII CEOs Mission includes Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President, CII and Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII; Mr Vikram Kirloskar, Vice President, CII and Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited; Mr Tarun Sawhney, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Triveni Engineering & Industries Limited; Mr Rahul Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director, Hero Future Energies; Mr R Dinesh, Managing Director, TVS Logistics Services Limited; and  Mr Kavinder Singh, CEO, Mahindra Holidays.

12 November 2018

Washington, DC

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