US likely to be told: India is not a high tariff country

New Delhi, Jun 25 (IANS): India is not a high tariff country and this is expected to be conveyed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his talks with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar here on Wednesday.

The issue is expected to figure against the backdrop of complaints by the US about trade deficit being tilted towards India.

Ahead of Pompeo's visit here, diplomatic sources said India's tariffs are at par with developing nations as it has to take care of domestic compulsions.

"The situation is not as bad as has been made out to be," a source said, adding there needs to be better understanding and articulation.

The sources said that high tariffs on some goods are allowed under the WTO rules and every country applies it.

"That doesn't make us high tariff country," they said.

To press the point, the sources cited the example of the US, saying the tariffs on tobacco in that country are huge.

On the US concern about trade deficit, they said it has been reduced to double digit.

There has been a lot of activity on the trade front and the bilateral commerce has reached 100 billion dollars, with investments increasing, the sources said.

"There needs to be better understanding," they said.

On the issue of access, they said there are bound to be differences and the two sides should keep discussing the matter.

On the US warning that Indian companies found supplying equipment or other products of American origin to Chinese mobile company Huawei or its units could face punitive action, the sources said India will see its domestic interests while dealing with the matter.

The sources said there is a lot of excitement about 5G proposed by the Huawei, but the security of data also has to be kept in mind.

"We have to see the balance," they said, adding India will be talking to other countries as well on the matter.


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