US and India call for stronger commercial ties at high-level talks in Washington

The U.S. and India are urging each other to remove impediments to business to boost two-way trade that now tops $100 billion.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker praised India on Tuesday for raising foreign investment in limits in insurance, defense and railway infrastructure. But she said the commercial relationship is far from reaching its potential as the two government aim for $500 billion in annual trade.

Her Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman, said Indian companies have their own concerns about access to the U.S. market for agriculture, processed food, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

The officials were speaking at high-level talks on strategic and commercial ties, ahead of next week's meeting between President Barack Obama and Indian leader Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.