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US topples China as India's largest merchandise trade partner

US topples China as India's largest merchandise trade partner

The US overtook China to once again become India's top goods trading partner in 2018-19, official data shows.

Also, India’s trade surplus with the US declined to $16.8 billion from $21.2 billion a year ago.

India’s exports are playing in a stronger position with its trade deficit with China dropping to $53 billion in 2018-19, down from $63 billion a year ago.

Data showed that India’s dependency on Chinese imports also declined to $70 billion from $76 billion a year ago, with over a fourth increase in exports to $16.7 billion in 2018-19.

This comes amid sluggish demand and a slowdown in China, which is the largest producer and consumer of most commodities.

India-US Trade at Crossroad

The decline in India’s trade surplus with the US comes amid a year-long trade war.

US President Donald Trump has resorted to protectionism by imposing higher tariffs on imports from its trading partners such as China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, in an attempt to protect its economy and create jobs.

In June 2019, the US withdrew duty-free benefits for Indian exports under its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). India also in return decided to impose retaliatory tariffs on 28 products from the US.

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