India, the second most populous country in the world, has reached out to the U.S., seeking a free trade agreement, President Trump said this Monday.
"India, which is the tariff king - they called us and they said, 'We want to start negotiations immediately ... We want to keep your president happy,'' Trump said. "Isn't that nice? It's true. They have to keep us happy."
But Monday wasn't the first time India has been spotlighted for its potential value as an FTA partner. USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney has already led two trade delegations to the country and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has highlighted the country as important for trade growth.
"U.S.-India trade has grown significantly in the last few years and has the potential to span every sector of the economy," Lighthizer said after a meeting last year with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu. "To increase reciprocal trade, we will continue to seek to identify and address trade barriers related to goods, including manufactured and agriculture, services and intellectual property rights."