India pitches for soybean exports to China amid US trade spat Back to News & Events List


Sharply criticising protectionist policies of western countries, India offered to export soybean and sugar to China amid the tariff spat between Beijing and Washington and sought major Chinese investments specially in India’s housing-for-all project. “You import a lot of agricultural products, up to USD 20 billion or more,” NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said in his address to the fifth India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). “I was noticing that there are some tariffs you imposed on farmers’ from Iowa and Ohio. Maybe India can substitute for soybean and sugar, if we could access those exports with all the due quality considerations to our farmers. That is very useful,” he told the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) He Lifeng. Both, Kumar and He led the India-China SED here which broadly covers various aspects of economic and trade relations between the two countries.

It was not held last year amid the Dokalam standoff. The meeting took place amid growing rapprochement between the two countries after the standoff. Yesterday, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held wide ranging talks with top official of the ruling Communist Party Yang Jiechi to step up engagement between the two countries. Kumar’s pitch for soybean and sugar exports to China came amid the ongoing trade spat between US and China following which Beijing has slapped 25 per cent tariffs on American soybean imports in a tit-for-tat retaliation to President Donald Trump camping tariffs on range of Chinese products. Trump is pressuring China to reduce the USD 375 billion trade deficit with America to USD 100 billion.

China had hit back with tariffs on a wide variety of agricultural products such as soybean, corn, beef, orange juice and tobacco which are expected to hit American farmers. Soybean is regarded as most important for US farmers as China is the largest importer. Making a case for China to look at Indian agricultural exports in view of the trade spat, Kumar, in his opening address, made a thinly veiled attack on US and Western countries’ protectionist policies. He said a synchronised recovery was taking place in the world economy after a long time. “But this is marred and disrupted by unseemingly protectionist noises that are coming out from the Atlantic basin from North America and Europe,” he said.

 

Source: PTI


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