India, US trade officials to start work on policy forum meet

Tags: Economy
Trade officials of India and the US are expected to meet here soon to prepare the groundwork for the ministerial level meeting of Trade Policy Forum (TPF).

"Dy. USTR expected to travel to India to prepare groundwork for upcoming Ministerial Trade Policy Forum meeting," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said in her tweet.

Deputy Unites States Trade Representative (USTR) Wendy Cutler will meet Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher.

The US-India TPF is an inter-agency collaboration led by the USTR. It is the principal trade dialogue between the countries.

It has five focus groups: Agriculture, Investment, Innovation and Creativity (intellectual property rights), Services, and Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.

USTR Michael Froman yesterday called up Sitharaman and the two talked about ways to further strengthen the relations on economic front.

The USTR talked about the TPF, which has not met for quite some time.

In recent months, the US has increased its attack against India's intellectual property regime and safety issues related to domestic pharmaceutical sector.

American pharma sector had alleged that Indian IPR laws discriminate against US companies and violate global norms.

The USTR in its Special 301 report had kept India out of the Priority list but has said that they would do an 'out-of-cycle' review of India's IPR regime.

At present, the bilateral is around $100 billion. The US-India Business Council (USIBC) had said bilateral trade between the countries could touch $500-billion mark over the next one decade.

India has received about $12 billion in FDI from the US companies during April 2000 to March 2014.

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