US-India Trade Spats Imperil Bilateral Relations



Neeta Lal | The Asia Sentinel

The last-minute cancellation of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s visit to India to discuss mounting bilateral trade tensions and other affairs has darkened clouds gathering over the US-India trade relationship worth about US$125 billion a year.

Ross was to co-chair the India-US CEO Forum with the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu, accompanied by a delegation of 20 American CEOs. It is the second high-level visit from the US that has been canceled recently, amounting to bad optics for PM Narendra Modi’s government, which is gearing up for a tightly contested election weeks from now. President Donald Trump was invited to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations but didn’t show up.

Supposedly the flight was canceled because of bad weather. The 81-year-old Ross’s office said he would participate “remotely.” However, no other flights were canceled out of Washington, DC that week, leading to suspicions that there were other reasons.

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