The US and India stumble toward a trade war – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

29th June 2019 Off By binary
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Much of the world’s attention has focused on the trade spat between the U.S. and China. But another trade war is brewing in Asia: between the U.S. and India.

In New Delhi Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked up U.S.–India ties and called for “a new age of ambition” between the two democracies. But in a tweet late that night President Trump called high Indian tariffs on U.S. exports, imposed earlier this month, “unacceptable.” Mr. Trump is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday.

Mr. Trump’s approach is shortsighted. It pays far too much attention to tariffs and a small and declining bilateral trade deficit. By supplying ammunition to his Indian critics, the president needlessly jeopardizes a deepening strategic partnership centered on defense and counterterrorism. And though many U.S. complaints about Indian economic policies are well-founded, airing them on Twitter only makes it harder for Mr. Modi to address them without being seen as kowtowing.

This article is available to Wall Street Journal subscribers here. It will be posted in full to aei.org on Monday, July 1.

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