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.
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.