India has offered to partially open up its poultry and dairy markets in a bid for a limited trade deal during US President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country this month, people familiar with the protracted talks say.
In 2019, Trump suspended India’s special trade designation that dated back to 1970s, after Modi put price caps on medical devices, such as cardiac stents and knee implants, and introduced new data localization requirements and e-commerce restrictions.
The US President will meet executives of large Indian companies with interests in the United States as he looks to drum up investments during his visit.
Executives of some of the companies expected to attend the meeting include Indian oil & gas company Reliance Industries, diversified group Tata Sons and auto sector companies such as Bharat Forge, Mahindra and Mahindra and Motherson, industry and business sources told Reuters.
Trump is scheduled to make his first visit as president to India on February 24-25 during which he will travel to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat followed by talks in New Delhi. The two countries are trying to sign a trade deal during his visit.
On February 25, a meeting is being planned between Trump and Indian executives, especially those focussing on job creation and manufacturing in the United States, the sources said.
The meeting, which will be held in New Delhi, was unlikely to include executives of US companies, they said.
Creating new jobs and boosting manufacturing is critical for Trump in his re-election bid later this year. US factory activity rebounded in January but only after it contracted for five straight months.
“President (Trump) is keen on acknowledging Indian companies which are focussing on manufacturing in the United States,” said a Washington-based source aware of the plans. US is a key market for several Indian firms.
Mahindra last year said it will invest another $1 billion in the United States and was committed to creating American jobs, while Bharat Forge has announced plans to invest $56 million to set up a new plant in North Carolina.
The $100-billion Tata Group says it is one of the largest Indian-headquartered multinationals in North America, with 13 companies and more than 35,000 employees.
The CII and US-India trade groups have suggested several Indian executives for the Trump meeting and the US Embassy in New Delhi was reviewing that, one source said, adding the final list was yet to be finalised. The US Embassy in New Delhi declined to comment.
Other than his meeting with Indian business leaders and Modi, Trump is expected to attend an event at a stadium in Gujarat along the lines of the “Howdy Modi” extravaganza held in Houston last September during which the two leaders made a joint appearance.