New Delhi : Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal visited Washington D.C. between 10-11 January 2023 to participate in the 13th Ministerial Meeting of the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum. Before the delegation level talks, CIM also held a one to one meeting with USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai. The Ministers underlined the significance of the TPF in forging robust bilateral trade ties and enhancing the bilateral economic relationship to benefit working people in both countries. After the meeting a Joint Statement was issued.
Highlights of the 13th India – USA TPF 2023 discussions are as follows:
- Ministers appreciated that bilateral trade in goods and services continued to rise rapidly and reached about $160 billion in 2021 while recognizing that significant potential remains unfulfilled and expressed their mutual desire to further enhance engagement with the goal of continuing to increase and diversify bilateral trade.
- The Ministers reviewed the work done by various working groups which were activated since last TPF meeting and directed that work be maintained to advance those issues towards resolution, with regular stock-taking of progress by the Ministers and their senior officials.
- Ambassador Tai welcomed India’s G20 Presidency and said the United States looks forward to working together in the Trade and Investment Working Group.
- The Ministers welcomed the intensified negotiations so far and further engagement on outstanding WTO disputes between the two countries to arrive at satisfactory outcomes in the coming months.
- India appreciated the resumption of inspections by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and asked the U.S. side to also resume inspections of new facilities and non-priority areas at the earliest.
- The Ministers welcomed the finalization of the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) design. The collaboration between India and the United States to expedite the TED trials will ensure that the TEDs are effective in minimizing the impact of fishing on sea-turtle populations and restore the market access for India’s export of wild caught shrimp.
- India highlighted its interest in restoration of its beneficiary status under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program. The United States noted that this could be considered, as warranted, in relation to the eligibility criteria determined by the U.S. Congress.
- The Ministers acknowledged the constructive engagement of the Services Working Group under the Trade Policy Forum and noted that the movement of professional and skilled workers, students, investors and business travelers between the countries contributes immensely to enhancing bilateral economic and technological partnership.
- The Ministers acknowledged the ongoing discussions on a Social Security totalization agreement and supported intensifying the work to achieve early outcomes in the matter.
- They encouraged their regulatory bodies to engage in discussions on exchanges of knowledge, capacity building, and recognition of qualifications to further enhance trade in professional services. The Ministers also noted that greater co-operation in the Fintech sector. They also discussed the potential of digital health, particularly telemedicine services as an element in continuity of care during the health emergencies.
- The Ministers launched a new working group on “Resilient Trade” to deepen bilateral dialogue on a range of issues that can enhance the resiliency and sustainability of the trade relationship including on trade facilitation, benefitting workers and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth, and common sustainability challenges including mobilization of sustainable finance, scaling up of innovative clean technologies, circular economy approaches and promotion of sustainable lifestyle choices.
- Both Ministers also looked forward to working together to strengthen resilience in global supply chains, especially in the critical sectors that underpin the two economies and to look forward to work on these issues in coordination and cooperation with our trusted partners through the new working group.
During his time in Washington D.C., CIM also held a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. In addition, CIM held one-on-one interactions with several leading industry figures, including the Chair of the Board of American Tower Corporation and CEOs of Corteva and Lockheed Martin. In addition, CIM attended a reception hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) which saw participation of several key figures from US industry. CIM also attended a dinner hosted by Ambassador of India to the United States, along with senior representatives from the US administration and US industry leaders.
As vibrant democracies, both India and USA are natural partners and have trade complementarities, long standing strategic and economic relationship, and people to people contact. The two countries are also collaborating under the QUAD, I2U2 (India-Israel/ UAE-USA) and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework). Regular exchanges at the leadership-level have been an integral element of the expanding bilateral engagement. The outcomes emerging from these visits have been instrumental in further strengthening the multifaceted ties between the two countries. CIM’s visit served to further strengthen the existing deep ties between India and the United States.