The India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meet is expected to be held in the US early next year and both the countries are working on achieving a substantial agenda for the same, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
The TPF is a premier forum to resolve trade and investment issues between India and the US. It has five focus groups — Agriculture, Investment, Innovation and Creativity (intellectual property rights), Services, and Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.
“13th ministerial TPF meeting is expected in early 2023 in the US and both sides are working on achieving a substantial agenda for the same,” the ministry said.
The meeting was deferred earlier in November due to local elections in both the countries.
The last meeting of the TPF was held in November 2021 here after a gap of four years. In that meeting, it was decided to reconvene the TPF at the ministerial level before the end of 2022.
In last year’s meeting, India had asked for restoration of GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) benefits to Indian exporters on which the US side has stated that this could be considered.
To further promote trade, the two sides had expressed an intent to continue to work together on resolving outstanding trade issues as some of these require additional engagement in order to reach convergence in the near future.
The bilateral trade between the countries has increased to USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22 from USD 80.5 billion in 2020-21. India received USD 55.61 billion foreign direct investment from the US during April 2000 and June 2022.
The ministry said the TPF is a key pillar of bilateral engagements in resolving the outstanding trade issues from time to time.
It is held annually, co-chaired by India’s commerce and industry minister and the US Trade Representative.
“Discussions are organized around working groups on agriculture, non-agricultural goods, services and investment and Intellectual Property,” it said.
On the proposed India-Canada free trade agreement, it said five rounds of talks have been conducted till November-end.
The agreement includes areas such as goods, services, customs procedures, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, SMEs, trade and gender, environment and labour.
Trade in services includes telecommunication, movement of persons/temporary entry of business persons, professional and financial services.
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