Just 48 hours before the US President Donald Trump lands in India, Jayant Dasgupta, former India ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Saturday said he is not expecting any breakthrough on trade issues between US and India.
“I am sure there will be a free and frank exchange of views about America's view especially about where India is leading to and how they are not being very helpful towards meeting the US requests," he said.
"I think the concerns on the Indian side are much more complicated. Basic negotiations have to take place amongst officials. To expect that Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be able to sort out the differences at their level is not being realistic," Dasgupta said.
"Having said that, the other problem with the US is that the present administration particularly is very transactional. From what I read in the paper, they are only asking for market access. However, what the US is prepared to offer to us is not very clear at all. In any negotiations, there has to be some give and some take, it cannot all take and that is what is slightly worrying. It will take time before it gets resolved," he further mentioned.
“Data localisation issue is likely to feature in an international treaty perhaps in the WTO. It could be a multilateral or a globilateral treaty but bilaterally I don’t think we can come to an agreement,” he added.
Dasgupta said, "The US is our biggest trading partner. We have to keep them on our right side, but that said, we don’t have to bend backwards to accommodate their requests. However, the US has to show flexibility and they have to show where they are giving market access and benefit to us. We should try to solve those problems which are solvable."