India and US Trade Policy Forum : 7 Things You Need to Know

There has been a rapid growth of bilateral trade in goods and services between the two countries. It reached $160 billion in 2021.

Shreshtha Verma
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Photo courtesy PIB.

The 13th Ministerial-level meeting of the India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF) held in Washington, DC. The meeting was co-chaired by Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal and the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai. This was a momentous occasion as the two nations came together to discuss trade policies and ways to further strengthen their economic relationship.

Here are the seven key aspects that were discussed during this meeting: 

India seeks restoration of beneficary status

India highlighted its interest in restoration of its beneficiary status under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program.  The United States noted that this could be considered, as warranted, in relation to the eligibility criteria determined by the U.S. Congress.

Creation of a new TPF Working Group on Resilient Trade

Reflecting their shared objective of deepening and broadening the U.S.-India trade relationship, the Ministers launched a new TPF Working Group on Resilient Trade.  This new Working Group will enable officials to deepen bilateral dialogue on a range of issues that can enhance the resiliency and sustainability of the trade relationship so that it is better able to withstand current and future global challenges.

Enhancing trade in professional services

The Ministers noted the potential of enhancing trade in professional services between the two countries. They acknowledged that well-functioning pathways for recognition of qualifications in professional services, and deeper dialogue between the professional bodies of the two countries can facilitate this growth. They intend to encourage their regulatory bodies to engage in discussions on exchanges of knowledge, capacity building, and recognition of qualifications to further enhance trade in professional services.

Participation in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

The United States welcomed India's participation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and expressed support for deeper economic engagement among partner countries for continued growth and prosperity in the region.

Work at the World Trade Organization

The Ministers welcomed the results of the WTO's Twelfth Ministerial Conference and expressed a shared intention to continue working constructively at the WTO to achieve tangible, realistic, and meaningful outcomes.

G20 Trade and Investment Working Group

Ambassador Tai welcomed India's G20 Presidency and noted that the G20 can be a useful forum for initiating constructive dialogue and cooperation on global trade issues, and the United States looks forward to working with India in the Trade and Investment Working Group.

Engagement on intellectual property

The Ministers welcomed continued engagement on intellectual property (IP) and reiterated that the protection and enforcement of IP contributes to the promotion of innovation as well as bilateral trade and investment in IP-intensive industries.  They appreciated the sustained work of the TPF IP Working Group and reviewed its recent progress on engaging on issues related to IP enforcement.  The United States welcomed India’s ongoing domestic consultations regarding the administration of its IP regime, including on the treatment of business confidential information related to working of patents, procedures for patent application oppositions, and streamlining of trademark infringement investigations. The United States and India underlined the importance of continuing to engage on the  copyrights provisions in view of commitments under the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and World Intellectual Property Organization Performance and Phonogram Treaty.