India-US bilateral goods trade to cross $100 billion this yr, outcomes for TPF by March 2022

India-US bilateral goods trade is set to cross the $100 billion mark this year and the two sides will develop specific trade outcomes by March next year under the Trade Policy Forum, the government said on Tuesday.

The two sides also agreed to work to resolve market access for grapes from India and pork/ pork products from the US, and resolve outstanding market access issues through continuous engagement.

“Expressed satisfaction over the robust rebound in bilateral merchandise trade this year 2021 (January–September), which showed almost 50% growth over the same period in the previous year; bilateral merchandise trade in the current year poised to surpass $100 billion mark,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement after the relaunch of the India-US TPF.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai co-chaired the TPF meeting. Tai is on a two-day visit to India. As per the statement, the ministers directed the TPF Working Groups to develop, by March 2022, plans of action for making substantive progress, including identification of set of specific trade outcomes that could be finalized for an inter-sessional TPF meeting to be held by mid-2022.

TPF Working Groups on agriculture, non-agriculture goods, services, investment, and intellectual property would be activated to meet frequently, the government said.

India highlighted the significance of restoration of Generalized System of Preferences(GSP) benefits as it would help industries from both sides in integrating their supply chain efficiently. “United States noted it for suitable consideration,” the ministry said.

Noting the significance of creating resilient and secure supply chains, the two sides may work with “like-minded partners” in developing secure supply chains in critical sectors of trade and technology.

“India highlighted the importance of cooperation in health sector, and expressed interest in partnering with the US and allies in developing a secure pharmaceutical manufacturing base for augmenting global supply chains,” the government said.

As per the statement, there was an emphasis 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.

“Agreement on market access facilitation for mangoes and pomegranates, pomegranate arils from India, and cherries and alfalfa hay for animal feed from the US,” it said. Moreover, the two sides will continue engagement on exploring enhanced market access for products including Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles from the US and market access for water buffalo meat and wild-caught shrimp from India.

They noted the significance of intellectual property protection and enforcement for the promotion of innovation as well as bilateral trade and investment in IP-intensive industries and the importance of services, including digital services, and the significant potential for increasing bilateral services trade and investment.

India and the US also agreed on the significance of negotiating a Social Security Totalization Agreement in the interest of workers from both sides.

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