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US to maintain current trade policy towards Sri Lanka

The United States will maintain its current trade policy towards Sri Lanka despite a change in administration in the US, Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs Mark Linscott said, the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) news reported.

Linscott said that the US is keen on working with Sri Lanka and exploiting its natural advantages for better trade.

The US Trade Representative expressed these views during talks with the Sri Lankan Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Chinthaka Lokuhetti in Colombo.

Commerce Department Director General Sonali Wijeratne and the Economic and Commercial Officer of the US Embassy in Colombo William Humnicky were among those who attended the meeting.

“It is tough to predict the future. The new US administration has a significant shift in change towards several of its trade agreements-mainly the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and there is a big focus on re-negotiating NAFTA as well as correcting our current trade deficits. Despite this I am not expecting any significant changes in US bilateral trade with Sri Lanka or our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with Sri Lanka,” the Ministry of Industry and Commerce quoted Linscott as saying.

Linscott also said that while the US is the largest export market for Sri Lanka, US exports to Sri Lanka have not increased in parallel and needs to be looked into.

He said the US is looking to move on from the past and create a special trade plan for Sri Lanka on TIFA. (Colombo Gazette)

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