List of Contents
What is the news?
India and the United States have agreed to work constructively to resolve key outstanding trade issues. Further, they also aim to take a comprehensive look at ways to expand the trade relationship.
What are the major India-US trade issues?
- Generalised System of Preferences(GSP): In 2019, the US removed India from the GSP programme. This move adversely affected India’s exports to the US.
- GSP: It is a preferential tariff system that allows concessional low/zero-tariff imports from developing countries.
- Tariffs: High Tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from India.
- Services: India has concerns over US visa policies. It has affected Indian nationals working in the United States
- Agriculture: The Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) barriers in India limit US agricultural exports.
- Forced Localisation: The US has opposed India’s “forced” localisation practices such as in-country data storage, domestic content, and domestic testing requirements.
- E-commerce rules: The US has concerns regarding India’s e-commerce rules. As the new E-commerce rule imposed restrictions on how e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Walmart owned Flipkart conduct business.
- Intellectual Property(IP): India remains on the “Special 301” Priority Watch List based on concerns such as its treatment of patents, infringement rates and protection of trade secrets.
Organizations involved in India-US trade issues
There are two major trade organisations involved in trade-related matters in the US. They are,
Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)
- Office of the United States Trade Representative(USTR) is a government agency. It is responsible for developing and recommending international trade policy to the US president.
- Significance: The USTR directly negotiates trade agreements and resolving trade disputes with foreign governments. Apart from that they also participate in global trade policy organizations.
- Powers: The US Trade Act gives the USTR broad authority to investigate and respond to a foreign country’s action. These actions include unfair or discriminatory practices as well as policies that negatively affect US commerce.
- Reports: The USTR publishes few major annual reports. Such as
- National Trade Estimate Report
- The Special 301 Report – identifies trade barriers to United States companies and products.
India-US Trade Policy Forum:
- Setup in: India US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) was set up in 2005 and reconstituted in 2014.
- Purpose: It is primarily designed to work for expanding bilateral trade and investment between India and the US.
- Nodal Agencies: Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, and Office of the US Trade Representative are the nodal agencies.
- Chaired by: The Commerce and Industry Minister on the Indian side and USTR on the US side co-chair it.
Source: The Hindu