USTR to visit countries to focus on market access

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The US and India will likely discuss finding a way to bolster up trade through greater market access.

Importantly, in agriculture and information communication technology and extraction of non-tariff and tariff boundaries when Katherine Tai, the US Trade Representative (USTR), visited India next week.

A source mentioned first as the chief trade negotiator of the US was Katherine Tai, who will also set the stage for the revival of the annual two-sided trade policy forum (TPF) meeting, which took place last in Washington DC in 2017.

Tai will meet the commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, amongst others.

The visit comes days before the next ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization, where views of both sides are assumed to maintain starkly different positions on issues ranging from fisheries subsidies to agriculture.

But during Tai’s visit to India, they will be expected to join hands-on New Delhi’s proposal for a patent waiver to help better the way to fight the pandemic, a problem that might be too illustrated.

During the talks on accessing the market issues, the US will likely accelerate every reduction in Indian tariffs on goods ranging from farm commodities to ICT products.

The talks may additionally cover mutual recognition agreements, non-tariff barriers,  and quality standards of imported products.

India’s biggest export market is the US, in FY21 having made up for outbound shipment of approximately $52 billion.

As the pandemic hit supply chains, imports from the US stood at $29 billion last fiscal.

The India-US TPF is a forum to determine trade and investment issues between the two countries, established in 2005.

It will only focus on the above groups like innovation, agriculture, investment, and creativity on intellectual property rights, services, and tariff and non-tariff barriers.

The US has already hinted it no longer wants a “limited” trade deal with India that was negotiated for months under the Trump administration and was to envelop the products with annual bilateral trade of about $13 billion.

This mini agreement was to be followed by negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Still,  the US hasn’t so far displayed interest in either the mini contract or an FTA, with Joe Biden at the helm.

The USTR had said Katherine Tai and deputy of USTR Sarah Bianchi would travel to meet and analyze with the stakeholders and different government officials from Seoul, Tokyo, and New Delhi. The abiding US delegation to the Indo-Pacific region and the trade will strengthen and economic relations with the key allies and partners.

In recent months, both sides have been querying to address trade concerns, identify specific areas for risen engagement and develop an ambitious, shared vision for the future of the trade relationship.

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