US seeks more access to Indian agri markets, suggests tariff cuts

The US has asked India to liberalise a larger share of the agricultural market. US suggested that India should adopt better biotechnological mechanisms, such as GM (genetically modified) crops, to fuel its economy.

The Indian market is restrained by trade barriers, blanket bans for certain commodities, stringent technical requirements, high tariffs on agri-based imports, according to a senior US government official on Monday, as reported by Business Standard.

India has fallen behind other Asian nations such as Vietnam, Bangladesh or China because it has a sceptical approach towards GM adoption, the official added.

Even on the trade front, India has been accused of not having open agricultural markets. Other progressive economies which have accused India are currently fighting World Trade Organization (WTO) over the issue of poultry imports from the US to India.

The case’s decision will be made by the next month. The US suggests that the trade policy should be renovated in this case.

“We understand the trade policy is meant to protect farmers from cheaper imports, but it doesn’t work,” the official was quoted as saying.

India is fighting the US, apart from the European Union, Australia and the United Kingdom at the WTO. This fight is over farm issues, safeguard mechanism over farmers and the right to public stockholding of the agricultural produce.

These issues will be discussed at the WTO ministerial talks in Argentina later this year.

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