Modi, Trump discuss trade deficit, cooperation in Afghanistan over phone

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump have discussed the contentious issue of the US’ trade deficit with India and increasing their cooperation in war-torn Afghanistan during a telephonic conversation. During the conversation on Monday evening, the two leaders exchanged new year greetings and expressed satisfaction at the continued growth of the India-US strategic partnership in 2018. “The leaders agreed to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership in 2019 and exchanged perspectives on how to reduce the US trade deficit with India,” the White House said in a readout of the call. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the US’ goods and services trade with India totalled an estimated $ 126.2 billion in 2017. Exports were $ 49.4 billion; imports were $ 76.7 billion. The US goods and services trade deficit with India was $ 27.3 billion in 2017. They also agreed to expand security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, and increase cooperation in Afghanistan, according to the White House.


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