Statement on the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum

October 23, 2016, Washington, D.C.- The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) applauds the recent U.S-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) held on October 20th in Delhi. The TPF is an opportunity for both governments to discuss trade issues impeding further growth in two-way trade. Over the past several years, it has been a productive dialogue to enagage on issues related to agriculture, services and goods, intellectual property, and manufacturing. USIBC welcomes the announcement under the joint statement that demonstrates that specific progress has been made on agricultural products such as cherries, hay, mangos and pomegranates. USIBC also looks forward to further engagements with both Governments to ensure fair market access for poultry, almonds, basmati rice, and other important agricultural goods. The Council is also particularly optimistic on the discussions the two governments had on trade in goods and services and commended the recent announcements on FDI in the market place model of e-commerce and the Model Guidelines on Direct Selling. 

USIBC looks forward to further engagement with both governments to ensure the free movement of professionals, including H1-B workers in the United States and professionals in the legal, insurance, and accounting sectors in India. USIBC also notes that more work needs to be done on tariffs of IT equipment, pricing of medical devices and pharmaceuticals and welcomes further interactions with the Governments on these issues. USIBC co-hosted the workshop on Trade Facilitation immediately prior to the TPF and applauded the level of commitment of both sides to further streamline processes and procedures of imports in India and the U.S

On intellectual property, USIBC has welcomed the recent reforms by the Government of India on upholding, protecting and enforcing intellectual property and looks forward to working with the Governments to further increase awareness and capacity building to ensure that innovation remains of bedrock of growth in the relationship. USIBC also notes that more work needs to be done on rolling back the policy on patents related to computer related inventions and is carefully monitoring the draft Licensing and Formats for GM Technology Agreement Guidelines and notes that the current draft policy, if implemented, is likely to setback the progress on innovation. USIBC also welcomes the progress made on manufacturing and led a manufacturing Mission to India concurrently with the TPF to focus on issues such as ease of doing business and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. While much progress has been made, USIBC looks forward to working with the center and state governments to full the Make in India vision.

Amy Hariani, Senior Director & Legal Policy Counsel at USIBC noted, “The TPF was one of the final U.S.-India commercial dialogues in the Obama Administration and it was important marker for how far we have come in the past two and half years in the relationship. While there had been a pause of greater than 4 years for the TPF, the dialogue now happens with regularity and intention. In addition to the annual dialogue, both Governments should be applauded for how frequently they are otherwise meeting and working to resolve trade barriers. Much work still remains to be done, however, and we should not slow our progress. In order to meaningfully get us closer to the shared goal of $500 billion in two-way trade, I am confident, now more than ever, that with frequent dialogues like the TPF, we are on the right path to succeed at that goal."

Contact: Sukanya Sen | ssen@usibc.com

Press Release