US postpones 2+2 dialogue with India amid tension over tariff

New Delhi: The US on Wednesday conveyed to India that it has postponed the first ‘2+2 dialogue’ between the two sides due to “unavoidable reasons” and expressed regret.

The India-US ‘2+2 dialogue’ was to be held on July 6, and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman were to travel to the US to take part in the meeting with US secretary of state Michael Pompeo and secretary of defence James Mattis.

Pompeo spoke with Swaraj and expressed his “regret and deep disappointment” at the US having to postpone the 2+2 dialogue for “unavoidable reasons”, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

2nd time US has deferred dialogue

  • This is the second time that the US has postponed the inaugural two-day dialogue, which was announced last summer when PM Modi met President Trump.
  • The meeting was earlier scheduled to take place on April 18-19 but the US had postponed it due to the uncertainty over the confirmation of Mike Pompeo as the new secretary of state.

US wants India to lower trade barriers

Stressing the need for India to lower trade barriers and cut tariffs, US Consul General in Hyderabad Katherine Hadda has said there are high tariffs in India with over 13 per cent as compared to America’s average tariff rate of 3.4 per cent.

So, we wish for reciprocity with India just as we do with all trading partners… and as an economist I have to say that helps both economies. Katherine Hadda, US Consul General in Hyderabad

“The United States has one of the lowest tariff rates in the world. We have applied tariff rates of 3.4 per cent and India’s is 13.4 per cent. Over one half of tariff line items imported into our country are duty-free whereas less than 3 per cent of the goods coming into India qualify for duty-free status,” she said.

Speaking at the 242nd American Independence Day celebrations organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Chapter) here on Tuesday night, Hadda said, “we know we can count on support of chambers such as this to help us.”

“You have an important advocacy role to play in encouraging the government of India to lower its trade barriers as well as to continue to improve its protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR),” Katherine Hadda said.