U.S.-India Release Joint Statement on Trade Policy Forum

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman released a joint statement on the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) highlighting the longstanding trade and investment issues between the two nations. This meeting calls timely attention to the work put into strengthening bilateral cooperation as the last TPF meeting was held four years ago.

In the past year, U.S.-India trade negotiations have made significant progress. The TPF comes one year after the Bali agreement and Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), cialis two months following Prime Minister Modi’s successful visit to the U.S., and just two weeks after progress was made with the U.S. and India concerning food security—advancing the stalled World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. The U.S. and India are currently working collaboratively to gain support among the other WTO members for the food subsidies deal that they recently reached.

According to the statement, Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman discussed a range of trade and investment issues for continued talks to convene in 2015, such as: agriculture, services, promoting investment in manufacturing, and intellectual property. Among others things, the U.S. and India agreed to:

  • Increase services and investment by continuing engagement on visa issues to ease access for Indian professionals in the U.S.
  • Promote investment in manufacturing by increasing supply chain connectivity and implement “single window” clearance systems.
  • Establish science- and risk-based standards for agricultural products to facilitate the movement of agricultural goods between the two countries.
  • Intensify discussions to build capacity and generate awareness in the field of copyright.
  • Identify ways in which trade and innovation policies can enhance access to quality health care and affordable medicines.

Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman concluded their statement by expressing satisfaction with theses discussions and they encouraged continued work to build on common interests in advance of the 2015 TPF meeting to be held in Washington, DC.

In January, President Barrack Obama is expected to travel to India, at the invitation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and participate in India’s Republic Day celebrations as their chief guest. President Obama would be the first sitting U.S. president to visit India twice and the first to be chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

As the U.S.-India trade dialogue continues to evolve meetings such as these further expand the strategic relationship and strengthen trade talks for the coming year. Both governments will need to continue to actively work together in order to bridge trade disagreements, and complete their ambitious trade and investment goals.