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Schwab: India-U.S. FTA not realistic right now

Schwab: India-U.S. FTA not realistic right now

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said not to expect a wide-ranging free trade agreement between India and the United States because of the sensitivity of India’s huge agricultural sector.

   As reported by Indian media outlets at the India-U.S. Summit for Small and Medium Enterprises in Chicago on Thursday, Schwab said recent discussions between India and the European Union over an FTA would have little bearing on a similar U.S.-India arrangement.

   “Quite honestly, it would be quite difficult, at this point of time, for India to imagine doing that kind of a deal with the United States considering its sensitivities in agriculture,” Schwab said.

   India is not only at an advanced stage with EU officials over some economic agreements, but it is also close to pinning down an FTA with the ASEAN nations.

   “Schwab said there was no comparison between her country and the EU when it comes to a free trade pact with India,” news outlets reported. “The EU is not a major agriculture producer, although they do a lot of export of value-added (products). Same thing with a lot of ASEAN countries.”

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