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NEWS | July 31, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Holds Talks with Indian Finance Minister

By Staff writer

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has met with India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during a visit aimed at boosting economic relations between the world’s largest democracies.

Kerry, accompanied by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, is in New Delhi to urge India to drop its opposition to global trade reforms that economists say would stimulate the world economy.

July 31 is the World Trade Organization’s deadline for adopting the reforms.

Kerry said earlier this week that India’s willingness to support a rules-based trading system would attract greater investment from the United States and around the world.

India has said it would not back the trade reforms unless it is also allowed the right to buy grain from farmers at above-market prices, stockpile it, and sell it to the poor at government-subsidized prices.

WTO rules say stockpiled food can only be sold at market prices.

Kerry will meet August 1 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who was shunned by Washington until not long before his sweeping election victory in May.

Along with trade, U.S. and Indian officials also plan to talk about climate change, energy issues, and what the State Department calls the robust people-to-people ties.


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