India-US Trade Policy Forum decides to up agri, non-agri goods and services trade

India, US flag

New Delhi, (Asian independent) Reaffirming the commitment to take economic relationship between the two countries to a higher level, India and the US on Wednesday decided to activate the India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF) working groups on agriculture, non-agriculture goods, services, investment, and intellectual property.

This was decided in order to address issues of mutual concern of both side on a mutually beneficial manner at the 12th Ministerial-level meeting of the India-US TPF here with a view to advancing the goal, to “develop an ambitious, shared vision for the future of the trade relationship,” as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden at their September 24, 2021, meeting.

On the one hand, the two countries emphasised on collaboration and constructive engagement in various multilateral trade bodies, including the WTO, the G20 etc., for achieving a shared vision of a transparent, rules-based global trading system among market economies and democracies, while on the other, the two countries also focussed on tangible benefits to farmers and businesses of both countries by resolving outstanding market access issues through continuous engagement, a release from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said.

The farm sector issues comprise agreement on market access facilitation for mangoes and pomegranates, pomegranate arils from India, and cherries and alfalfa hay for animal feed from the US. The two countries also agreed to work to resolve market access for grapes from India and pork/pork products from the US.

Another important area emphasised was on participation and collaboration of the private sector in both countries in building stronger linkages in critical sectors (including cyberspace, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology), and supporting resilient and secure global supply chains.

“Significance of IP protection and enforcement for promotion of innovation as well as bilateral trade and investment in IP-intensive industries was noted too,” the release said.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai underlined the importance of integrating the two economies across sectors to harness the untapped potential of the relationship, it said.

The two Ministers recognized the importance of engaging in collaborative discussion on the full range of existing and emerging issues affecting our trade relationship.

“In this regard, TPF could be the major platform for collaboration and cooperation in trade matters, resolve bilateral trade concerns and explore important, emerging trade policy issues,” the release added.