India will 'not rush into deal' with US during Trump's visit
India has dashed hopes of an early trade deal with the United States, saying it will not rush into an agreement during a visit by President Donald Trump to the country next week.
Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday that “complex negotiations” are underway for reaching an agreement, but "these are complex negotiations. We would not like to rush into a deal."
“We do hope to reach an understanding with an outcome that strikes the right balance for both sides,” he added.
He made the remarks as many were expecting a deal next week, when Trump is due for a visit to Ahmedabad on Monday.
Days ahead of the visit, Trump said that Washington and New Delhi could make a "tremendous" trade deal as he was “going to India”
He further said that the US has not been treated well by New Delhi, but said, “I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot.”
In response to Trump’s remarks, Kumar said, “It is important to understand the context under which these remarks were made.”
"Please understand that the US is India's largest trading partner” he said adding that “there has been a consistent growth in trade between the two countries over the last few years."
The Indian Congress criticized Trump for making the remarks ahead of his visit to India, saying he has “undermined” all the progress achieved so far in bilateral relations.
“It is an insult and affront to the dignity of the country and the Ministry of External Affairs should respond to it,” said congressional leaders.
They also called on the Modi government to respond to Trump’s comments.
Negotiations are underway between New Delhi and Washington over several agreements, including military contracts worth $3 billion and several other deals worth over $7 billion.