Delivering his inaugural policy address on U.S.-India Relations at Carnegie India, U.S. ambassador to India, Kenneth I. Juster said, “I want to see a U.S.-India Free Trade Agreement … a strategic view of our economic relationship could lead to a road map for a U.S.-India Free Trade Agreement.” He also said though bilateral trade had reached $115 billion in 2016 from just $20 billion in 2001, there was still plenty of room to expand the flow of goods and services in both directions for trade to become more reciprocal.
Juster further said that greater U.S. trade and investment, combined with a strong environment protecting intellectual property, will lead to increased flows of capital and further sharing of intellectual know-how. “Technological transformation needs a constant upgrade, which occurs when countries are involved in unimpeded international economic and data flows,” he said.
Juster also said that a strategic view of the bilateral economic relationship could eventually lead to a road map for a U.S.-India free trade agreement. “To be sure, we are a long way right now from that aspiration, and there are many intermediate steps to be taken. But we should find creative ways to use our trade policy forum and our commercial dialogue to enhance understanding, build confidence and solve problems,” he said.