Beijing, April 14 (IANS) 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.
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.
(Gaurav Sharma is the IANS correspondent in Beijing. He can be contacted at [email protected])