NEW DELHI: India and the US are trying to take the bilateral talks forward and thrash out a trade package before commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal returns from the US later this week.

While the two sides seem to have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution of pricing of medical devices, India may have to accommodate the US’ demands on market access for its almonds, nuts and berries to arrive at a trade package before they work on a larger bilateral trade deal.

Goyal will participate in a roundtable discussion organised by the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum in New York on Thursday before he travels to Washington for trade negotiations with American trade officials. He flew to New York on Monday from Dubai.

“Both sides are ironing out the issues to take the talks forward by harvesting low hanging fruit like market access to agricultural products,” said an official.

Market access to American agricultural and dairy commodities, restoration of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), price controls on medical devices, duty cuts on Harley Davidson bikes and information and communication technology (ICT) products are the key areas of negotiations among a plethora of trade spats that the two sides have been embroiled in.

The US wants India to do away with price controls on medical devices such as coronary stents and knee implants with innovative features and keep them separate from mass products. It had asked India to scrap the 20% tariffs that exist on ICT goods for which New Delhi had considered fixing a threshold price for imported smart phones beyond which it can levy customs duty on mobile phones, smart watches and telecom network equipment.

Moreover, to accommodate the US’ demand on market access for its dairy products, New Delhi was also willing to allow such imports if Washington can guarantee that these do not violate religious beliefs with veterinary officials certifying that the source animal was not raised on feed made of bovine extracts.

“There could be a last-minute deal. It seems India may have to give more concessions to the US in order to arrive at some kind of a trade package. These could be in any sector,” said an expert on trade issues.

However, the USTR has also sought data-related relaxations, including those in India’s ecommerce policy, which Indian officials said are non-trade issues and will be handled separately by the ministry of electronics and information technology.