Slow trade progress in India

US and India trade negotiations continue, and USDA Undersecretary for Trade Ted McKinney says he’s optimistic.

“We are very bullish that we will get there,” he says. “I think they know the quality of our product and so we just have to keep at it.”

Speaking during US Soybean Export Council’s virtual Asia Trade Exchange, McKinney says it’s a little slow-going because India has visions of being self-sufficient.

USSEC CEO Jim Sutter says as India’s demand grows and people want to consume more protein, the country likely won’t be able to supply enough on its own.

“So we continue to work in India,” he says. “We think that one of these days it will become a significant importer and we want to have a good relationship there just like we do in many other countries.”

Sutter says USSEC has a team on the ground in India and McKinney, who has had two trade missions to India, says he plans to go back when he can.  

US ag exports to India were $1.5 billion in 2018. Leading domestic exports included tree nuts, cotton, fresh fruit, dairy products, and prepared food.

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