Category — Agriculture

U.S. and India Explore Ways to Boost Trade, Investment

U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, and Minister for Commerce and Industry, India, Nirmala Sitharaman met in Delhi on October 20, for the tenth ministerial-level meeting of the India and United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF), to discuss ways to further improve trade and investments relations. TPF is the premier bilateral forum for discussion and resolution of trade and investment issues between the two countries.

Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman discussed and exchanged views on a range of trade and investment issues, in particular, (i) Agriculture, (ii) Trade in Services and Trade in Goods, (iii) Promoting Investment in Manufacturing, and (iv) Intellectual Property.

US and India Flags

Some takeaways from the meeting:

Both countries agreed to continue working to facilitate bilateral trade in food and agricultural products and committed to holding technical dialogues on animal health, plant health, and food issues during 2017.

The importance of e-commerce, retail and direct selling in facilitating trade in goods was acknowledged by both sides. India noted that 100 percent foreign direct investment is now permitted in the marketplace model of e-commerce as well as in the distribution of food products produced in India, including through e-commerce.

Both countries emphasized that the timely resolution of disputes through a strong judicial system fosters an attractive investment climate and improves the ease of doing business.  The United States welcomed India’s establishment of commercial courts, streamlining of its arbitration procedures, and its ongoing efforts for timely resolution of commercial disputes.

Minister Sitharaman and Ambassador Froman welcomed the enhanced engagement on intellectual property rights under the High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property, and reaffirmed their commitment to use this dialogue to continue to make concrete progress on intellectual property rights issues.

The United States and India Joint Statement on the Trade Policy Forum can be found here.

November 4, 2016   No Comments

India and Los Angeles, Much Closer Than You Might Think

Los Angeles is the top ranking U.S. customs district with trade exceeding $393 billion in 2015. Despite being halfway around the world from, India is a Top 10 trading partner with Los Angeles, actually ranking ninth and ahead of Pacific Rim countries such as Australia (#10), Indonesia (#12), and Philippines (#15).

According to US Trade Numbers, Los Angeles traded $9.8 billion with India in 2015, with American exports at $4.1 billion and imports at $5.6 billion.

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Port of Los Angeles (Creative Commons Photo, Wikipedia)

Top exports to India from the Los Angeles area include

  • gold, silver and unmounted diamonds
  • telecommunications equipment, including phone and parts
  • agricultural products especially tree nuts and cotton
  • medical technology, medical devices and instruments
  • computers
  • petroleum products.

Top Imports from India direct to the Los Angeles customs district include

  • jewelry, jewelry parts and diamonds
  • seafood
  • gasoline
  • textiles: linen for bed, bath, kitchen; clothing for men and women
  • furniture parts

For India the top five U.S. customs districts are New York with $19.7 billion of trade, Los Angeles with $9.8 billion, Atlanta with $4.2 billion, Houston with $3.9 billion, and Chicago with $3.8 billion in 2015.

If you scan the Los Angeles customs district by commodity, India ranks highly in several categories. For example India is the largest recipient of diamonds from Los Angeles, exceeding such famous destinations for these stones as Israel and Belgium. For gold exports, India is third, ahead of the United Kingdom, China, Canada and Mexico.  India is the sixth largest recipient of cotton from the Los Angeles district, ahead of Taiwan, Pakistan, Japan, Germany, Spain, Bangladesh and Egypt.

Technical products

In phone equipment, India ranks fifth and receives more American exports than Taiwan, Mexico, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Brazil! For medical devices, India is ranked ninth, which is ahead of France, the United Kingdom and Taiwan.  For computers, India ranked #13 in the year 2015 for exports from the Los Angeles area.

The Upshot

Trade between Los Angeles and India will continue to rise disproportionately compared to U.S. trade overall. We expect this trend to continue at least until 2025.

 

 

 

October 29, 2016   No Comments

India Ratifies Paris Agreement on Climate Change

India ratified the Paris Agreement on the birthday of Mohandas K. Gandhi ( Mahatma Gandhi, revered as the Father of the Nation by Indians),  who was born Oct. 2, 1869.

“Today the government of India has demonstrated global leadership and vision by joining the Paris agreement on climate change,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon tweeted.  “This historic step will further India’s sustainable path to growth and development.”

Climate Change

Currently sixty-two countries have joined, representing 52 percent of global emissions, according to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, reports the Washington Post.

Ajay Mathur, director general of the Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi, said that the government plans to achieve its climate goals in three ways:

  • Launch a market next year to balance supply and consumption of electricity
  • Institute a program to increase the efficiency of the agriculture sector
  • Spur more efficient technologies in air conditioning, since cooling accounts for half of the growth in new electricity demand

October 3, 2016   No Comments

U.S. Poultry, Pork Will Be Available in India

Winning a World Trade Organization dispute which the United States brought against India, American companies can now export poultry and pork products to India.

In 2007, India banned U.S. poultry, chicken eggs, and other agricultural products  ostensibly to prevent avian influenza outbreaks. India just lost the appeal at a World Trade Organization appellate body  when the United States argued that it had not had an outbreak of high pathogenic avian flu since 2004, while India had 90 such outbreaks between 2004 and 2014,  reports Forbes.

Eggs

Eggs

Indian consumers will soon have access to American chicken.

 

 

 

July 11, 2016   No Comments

U.S.-India Move Forward on Climate Change and Environment

Recognizing the urgent threat of climate change, the United States and India are committed to bringing the Paris Agreement into force as quickly as possible. The two nations plan to work together to adopt in 2016 an ambitious amendment to phase-down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons – a potent greenhouse gas – under the Montreal Protocol, which could avoid a half-degree of temperature increase. By avoiding up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century, an HFC Amendment is one of the most consequential actions to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the United States and India committed to work together to reach a successful resolution to address greenhouse gas emissions from international civil aviation at the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly, says a White House release.

Effect of Climate Chamge

Through the U.S.-India Joint Working Group on Combating Climate Change and related fora, the United States and India continue to advance bilateral cooperation on climate change.

  • Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship:  In March, the U.S. and Indian governments announced the first call for applicants for the U.S.-India Fulbright—Kalam Climate Fellowship, part of a commitment made by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi to building long-term capacity to address climate change-related issues in both countries.
  • Partnership for Climate Resilience:  In support of the U.S.-India Partnership for Climate Resilience launched by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) are leading a collaboration to model future climate conditions in India at high resolution, to assess climate risks at the sub-national level in India and to support actions that promote climate-resilient sustainable development. Also under this Partnership, NASA released its NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP) dataset that provides downscaled climate model data for the Indian sub-continent.  Over the coming year, IITM and NOAA intend to co-host a series of workshops in India with U.S. and Indian experts to focus on the development and use of downscaling tools for seasonal forecasting and multi-decadal climate risk assessment.
  • Advancing Air Quality Cooperation:  The two countries will work to reduce urban population exposure to air pollution by disseminating information through the AirNow-International program, which should enable urban policy planners to improve air quality in cities, allowing for estimates of health and climate change benefits of these strategies.
  • Technical Cooperation on Heavy-Duty Vehicles:  Both countries have pledged to cooperate on reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in India through the G-20. This technical cooperation will help inform the design of heavy-duty vehicle Greenhouse Gas emission  standards which will result in significant oil saving benefits in India.

 

 

June 13, 2016   No Comments