Published On: Sat, Apr 14th, 2018

India offers soybean exports to China amid trade war with US

Beijing: In the wake of a raging US-China trade war, India on Sunday offered to export soybean and other agriculture products to Beijing, which has slapped retaliatory tariffs on American products.

Beijing and New Delhi were unruffled by the “protectionist noises”

India also slammed the US for its “protectionist” trade policies, saying the “unseemly” practice has hurt the world’s economic recovery.

At the 5th India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajeev Kumar said that Beijing and New Delhi were unruffled by the “protectionist noises” and could well be the important anchor for the world economy.

“We have noticed that you import a lot of agricultural products probably to the tune of $20 billion or more,” Kumar said.

“And I was noticing that there were some tariffs that were issued on farmers from Iowa and Ohio etc. Maybe India can substitute for something like soybeans and sugar if we could have access to those exports with all the due quality considerations for that you might have on our farmers. That might be very useful,” Kumar said referring to the US-China trade war.

China and the US — the world’s two largest economies — are locked in an ugly trade spat with both sides hitting back at each other by imposing slapping economic tariffs.

In the first week of April, the US announced tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese products which, it said, was the result of Beijing forcing the American companies to transfer their technology to China’s firms.

Beijing was quick to fire back by imposing taxes on 106 US products.

The wrangling has worried the world, which is witnessing a sluggish economic growth.

In March, US President Donald Trump had threatened India with retaliatory tariffs if New Delhi did not lower taxes on American products.

“There is for the first time a cyclical and synchronized recovery in the world economy happening after a very long time. But this is actually marred and disrupted by some unseemly protectionist noises that are coming out of the Atlantic basin, North America, and Europe,” Kumar said in an oblique reference to China.

“But thankfully the emerging economies of Asia have seemed to ignore these protectionist noises and have continued to grow at a very high rate of speed with China growing at 6.8 and India growing 7-7.2 per cent,” Kumar added.

The dialogue was attended by the delegation of China’s National Development Reforms Commission.

Kumar said that India and China need to work for a better economic climate for our investors and entrepreneurs.

“We both have to do ease of doing business so that our procedures, red tape, and non-tariff barriers get sorted out so that investors from both the countries in their respective fields get the investment opportunities.”

“We have liberalized as you know all the business visa regimes for the Chinese investors to come. We now give them multiple three-month visas. If you could make this possible for our investors, it will really help in taking this investment forward from Indian investors who are very keen to come to China.”

“Dangal has been a great success in China and if that is so we would like to expose the Chinese population to some more Indian movies. So if there can be liberalization of entertainment and if you can expand working groups from current five to two more: one on culture which includes entertainment; the other one could be one on pharmaceuticals because we import a lot of your pharmaceuticals APIs.”

“The time has come for those APIs to be used in some formulation that could be re-exported to China with all the FDA regulations of China and our highest quality.”

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