18 January, 2021

Hard Barter In Global Village

The US wants more take for its give. Outsourcing may be the leverage to pressure India on subsidies, tariffs.

Hard Barter In Global Village
The day after finance minister Jaswant Singh's mini-budget this year, United States trade representative Robert Zoellick wrote an excited e-mail which praised India's move to slash import tariffs. And why not? For years, Washington has been pressuring New Delhi to allow easier access to American goods. As Zoellick said at a press conference during his recent visit to India, "...we want to keep our markets open, but to do so we need to be able to open markets abroad. We need to make...it a two-way street, and that includes in services, goods and agriculture."

Sounds like a win-win blueprint. But later, one of the economic cats came out of his diplomatic bag. Which, in a way, revealed how the ongoing outsourcing controversy will be a key piece in this diplomatic chessgame. He told mediapersons that "...if India wants to have the ability to have outsourcing and wants to have the ability to sell goods to the United States, well you can see India is also going to have to open up." Clearly, the growing ire among Americans that their firms' move to outsource work to India is...


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