Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation: PM Modi’s State Visit to the US and Its Impact on International Trade


The recent official state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States has set the stage for a new chapter in India-US relations. With the world watching, the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Joe Biden held immense significance for the future of bilateral cooperation, global trade, and the geopolitical landscape.

Significant outcomes have emerged from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip, particularly in the realm of bilateral trade. These include the resolution of six ongoing trade disputes and the announcement of key trade agreements, which hold promising implications for India’s trade policy and its engagement on the international stage. In this article, we will delve into the highlights of this visit and analyze the potential implications for trade relations and global geopolitical dynamics.

Resolution of Disputes:

Prime Minister Modi’s visit resulted in the termination of six ongoing trade disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO). These disputes, initiated by both India and the United States, have been a point of contention, encompassing matters related to additional duties, export-related measures, solar cells, steel, aluminum, and the renewable energy sector. The resolution of these disputes indicates a willingness to find common ground, a significant step towards fostering improved trade relations.

Key Outcomes:

Market Access for Steel and Aluminum: As part of the visit, the US announced the granting of market access to Indian steel and aluminum products under the exclusion process of Section-232 of the Trade Expansion Act 1962. This decision restores opportunities for Indian exporters in these sectors, which were previously restricted by additional duties.

Removal of Retaliatory Tariffs: In response to the US Section 232 national security measures on steel and aluminum, India agreed to remove retaliatory tariffs on certain US products, including chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, apples, boric acid, and diagnostic reagents.

Strategic Trade Dialogue: The launch of the interagency-led Strategic Trade Dialogue reflects the commitment of both nations to address export controls, enhance high technology commerce, and facilitate technology transfer. This dialogue sets the stage for deeper collaboration in areas of mutual interest.

Trade Designations: India expressed its interest in restoring its status under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and being recognized as a Trade Agreements Act-designated country by the US. These designations would further promote integration between the two economies.

Bilateral Social Security Totalization Agreement: The leaders reiterated their intent to continue discussions on a bilateral social security totalization agreement, which would benefit citizens working in both countries.

Impact on India’s Trade Policy Stance:

The outcomes of Prime Minister Modi’s visit are expected to influence India’s trade policy stance in several ways:

Market Access and Section 232: While the US gains immediate market access for agricultural products, further clarification on the application of Section 232 measures is still needed. Ongoing dialogue and negotiation will be crucial in reaching a common understanding.

GSP Restoration and Totalization Agreement: The restoration of India’s GSP status and progress on the totalization agreement may take time. The eligibility criteria for GSP restoration lie with the US Congress, while the totalization agreement has historically lacked serious intent from the US. Continued efforts are necessary to advance these issues.

Impact on IPEF Negotiations: The trade policy outcomes discussed during the state visit may affect India’s negotiating stance in the ongoing Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) negotiations. Clarification is needed on India’s engagement in trade pillar discussions and its stance on data flow and intellectual property rights, considering the ambitious commitments expected from IPEF members.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States marks a significant turning point in India-US trade relations. The resolution of ongoing disputes and the announcement of key agreements showcase the commitment of both nations to finding common ground and fostering improved trade relations. As India continues to emerge as the world’s third-largest economy, the impact of these developments on global trade dynamics and geopolitical shifts will be closely watched. The stage is set for India to play a transformative role in shaping the future of international trade and geopolitics.

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