TPF important step in sustained effort to strengthen India-US commercial ties: USIBC

Washington, Jan (PTI) The India-US Trade Policy Forum meeting that concluded here is an important step in the sustained effort to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries, a top American business body has said.

The India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting was held here on Wednesday. It was co-chaired by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

President of the US India Business Council (USIBC) Atul Keshap applauded the two countries for taking steps that would further enhance the trade ties.

The latest India-US Trade Policy Forum was an important step in the sustained effort to strengthen commercial ties between the world’s oldest and largest democracy, he said.

“We are especially encouraged by both sides’ expressed intent to reconvene the TPF on a quarterly basis, and by the statement’s clear recognition that the potential of the bilateral trade partnership remains unfulfilled,” Keshap said.

“Overall, the joint statement reaffirmed both the US and India’s commitment to greater economic cooperation, joint environmental stewardship, and demonstrated the mutual interest in enabling greater mobility of goods, services, and skills between our societies,” he said.

India and the United States on Wednesday launched a new TPF Working Group on Resilient Trade.

The creation of a new working group on resilient trade reflects the urgent demand for a high-standard, high-trust, and highly dependable trading ecosystem from industry and civil society, Keshap said.

Moves to streamline the testing and certification of telecommunication equipment is a pivotal step in reducing compliance burden and promoting our joint leadership and cooperation in essential technologies, said the USIBC president.

“Progress on US business visas will also bolster America’s economic competitiveness and allow us to benefit from the entrepreneurial spirit and wealth of human capital in India’s talent pool,” Keshap said.

“As both sides continue their talks, we hope to see continued progress on medical device pricing and strengthening India’s intellectual property regime, both essential elements to expand our cooperation in healthcare,” he said.

Strengthening enforcement of intellectual property rights and protection of confidential business information will be central to India’s rise as an innovation hub in the 21st century, he added.

“We also hope to see the resolution of cross-sector market access and tariff issues, and welcome the intent for a bilateral settlement on long-standing WTO disputes,” Keshap said.

The USIBC president appreciated the USTR expressing openness to restoring India’s beneficiary status under the US Generalized System of Preferences Program (GSP).

The US Chamber of Commerce continues to urge Congress to reauthorise the GSP programme so that the US can lead on trade and strengthen our economic ties with our most important partners as part of the administration’s friend-shoring initiative, Keshap said.

“We look forward to seeing both sides continuing constructive dialogue at the next Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial, where the US, India, and the 15 other member countries will shape a new phase of global development founded on trust, focused on economic resilience, and led by free societies,” he said.