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Indo-US Trade Policy Forum Discusses Trade & Investment Relations

Washington, DC
September 22, 2010
(Press Information Bureau)

Indo-US Trade Policy Forum Discusses Trade & Investment Relations. Anand Sharma Expresses India’s Concern on Trade Restrictive & Protectionist Policies

Shri Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce & Industry and Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative co-chaired the Ministerial Indo-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) at Washington DC yesterday. Shri Sharma and Ambassador Kirk noted that the Trade Policy Forum had given both countries an opportunity to focus together on the state of the burgeoning US-India trade and investment relationship, which is becoming an increasingly significant factor in the economic life and prosperity of the two countries, as well as in the global economy. The Indian delegation included the Commerce Secretary, Shri Rahul Khullar along with other senior government officials.

Shri Sharma along with Ambassador Kirk received feedback from the 5 Focus Groups on Agriculture, Innovation & Creativity, Investment, Services and Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade that work under the TPF. The focus groups held comprehensive discussions on a wide range of issues, identifying areas for future constructive engagement between the two trading partners. The Minister welcomed the reports of the Focus Groups and appreciated the fact that both sides are engaged in constant dialogue. He expressed his firm belief that this session of the TPF has moved the Indo-US relationship in the direction of realizing tangible benefits, and looked forward to continued cooperation to this end in the coming year.

Earlier in a closed-door meeting with Ambassador Kirk, Shri Sharma expressed India’s concern about the trade restrictive and protectionist policies adopted by the United States in recent times. The Executive Order of Ohio state Governor that imposes restrictions on outsourcing and the Border Security legislation, that directly impacts Indian software companies and increases their costs by millions of dollars were raised by him. In his words, “Protectionism kills growth and innovation. In order to ensure that we continue our high growth trajectories, we have to be strong to resist domestic calls and pressures to increase barriers to trade.” The Minister also stressed upon the need for a Totalisation Agreement between India and the United States that will go a long way towards supporting growth in the Services sector.

Both the Ministers co-chaired the meeting of the PSAG (Private Sector Advisory Group) and observed that the private sector serves to remind us that it is the small and medium-sized companies, that are key to maximizing the trade and investment flows. “Through cooperative engagement in this area, we will be able to provide sustained employment, higher incomes, and other critical economic benefits”, Shri Sharma said.