Remarks by Ambassador Katherine Tai During the Welcome Reception in New Delhi
PM Modi and President Biden meeting on September 24, 2021 Quoted
India and United States Joint Statement on the Trade Policy Forum
India US TPF gets a big boost
India – US TPF agrees to integrate the economies across sectors
United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today attended a welcome reception in New Delhi hosted by India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal.
Ambassador Tai’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
Minister Goyal, thank you for the kind introduction. I want to begin by expressing my sincere thanks to you for hosting this reception and bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders during this visit to New Delhi.
The trade relationship between our two countries is a priority, both for President Biden and for me. That’s why it was important for me to come to India and relaunch the Trade Policy Forum on my first trip to Asia.
I know that all of you in this room are similarly invested in the trade relationship.
You are putting in the hard work to build commercial ventures, navigate the trading system, and strengthen ties between our countries on a daily basis. The TPF was created to foster those same activities.
There is huge potential for growth between our two economies in areas like the digital economy, services, health-related trade, and even agriculture.
I believe that a revived TPF can help our trade relationship keep pace with other important aspects of the U.S.-India partnership. But it’s clear that bilateral trade is not living up to its potential.
At USTR, we hear frequently from our stakeholders on issues that will be familiar to those of you involved in moving goods and services between our two countries: market access restrictions, high tariffs, unpredictable regulatory requirements, and restrictive digital trade measures. These are issues where we need to make progress and they will be on the top of my list while I’m here.
I’m also looking forward to discussing how further collaboration on worker-centric policies can be benefit our trade relationship.
President Biden and I are convinced that U.S. trade policy requires a fundamental shift to ensure that our policies and actions focus on the impact that trade and trade agreements have on real, working people.
Part of that means engaging in new ways with you all, and my Indian government colleagues, to connect trade more directly to working people.
India and the U.S. also face shared challenges in areas like climate change, vulnerable supply chains, and promoting market-oriented principles and structures. These areas are ripe for closer collaboration.
So tonight, I’m looking forward to starting a robust conversation about your ambitions for the U.S.-India trade relationship.
We are committed to ensuring the trade partnership is both robust and sustainable. We have our work cut out for us and the first step is reviving the Trade Policy Forum tomorrow morning.
But delivering results and further integrating our economies will require a concerted effort from our two governments, the business community, civil society, workers, and consumers.
India and the United States held the 12th Ministerial-level meeting of the India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in New Delhi on November 23, 2021 with a view to advancing the goal, to “develop an ambitious, shared vision for the future of the trade relationship”, as announced by PM Modi and President Biden at their September 24, 2021 meeting.
Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs and Food& Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal and U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai co-chaired the TPF meeting.
The Ministers recognized the importance of engaging in collaborative discussion on the full range of existing and emerging issues affecting our trade relationship. In this regard TPF could be the major platform for collaboration and cooperation in trade matters, resolve bilateral trade concerns and explore important, emerging trade policy issues.
Highlights of the India USA TPF 2021 discussions are as follows:
Tue, Nov, 23, 2021, New Delhi, India: Today India – United States reaffirmed their commitment to take economic relationship between the two countries to the next high level. Commerce and Industry Minister of India Shri Piyush Goyal and USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai also ensured that India – US TPF take a firm decision to integrate the economies across sectors and move towards securing and ambitious future for trade relations between the two strategic partners and democracies.
The two leaders underlined the importance of integrating the two economies across sectors to harness the untapped potential of the relationship.
During the meeting the leaders pushed to work towards a more ambitious future for the bilateral trade and economic relationship and take it to the next level so that both economies could benefit from the inherent complementarities.
Bilateral trade matters
TPF Working Groups on agriculture, non-agriculture goods, services, investment, and intellectual property to be activated to meet frequently in order to address issues of mutual concern of both side on a mutually beneficial manner.
Expressed satisfaction over the robust rebound in bilateral merchandise trade this year 2021 (January – September 2021), which showed almost 50 percent growth over the same period in the previous year; bilateral merchandise trade in the current year poised to surpass US$ 100 billion mark.
Importance of establishing a conducive business environment underscored and In this regard, economic reforms rolled out by India including liberalization of FDI in the insurance sector, elimination of a retrospective provision in income tax, and launching of the “Single Window System” for facilitating investment highlighted.
Emphasis on Collaboration and constructive engagement in various multilateral trade bodies including the WTO, the G20 etc for achieving a shared vision of a transparent, rules-based global trading system among market economies and democracies.
Significance of creating resilient and secure supply chains and in this regard India and the United States may work with like-minded partners in developing secure supply chains in critical sectors of trade and technology.
India highlighted the importance of cooperation in health sector, and expressed interest in partnering with the U.S. and allies in developing a secure pharmaceutical manufacturing base for augmenting global supply chains.
Emphasis on participation and collaboration of the private sector in both countries in building stronger linkages in critical sectors (including cyberspace, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology), and supporting resilient and secure global supply chains.
Emphasis on tangible benefits to farmers and businesses of both countries by resolving outstanding market access issues through continuous engagement.
Agreement on market access facilitation for mangoes and pomegranates, pomegranate arils from India, and cherries and alfalfa hay for animal feed from the United States.
Agreed to work to resolve market access for grapes from India and pork/ pork products from USA.
Both sides to continue engagement on exploring enhanced market access for products including Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles from the US and market access for water buffalo meat and wild caught shrimp from India.
Significance of IP protection and enforcement for promotion of innovation as well as bilateral trade and investment in IP-intensive industries noted.
India highlighted the significance of restoration of GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits as it would help industries from both sides in integrating their supply chain efficiently. United States noted it for suitable consideration.
Importance of services, including digital services, and the significant potential for increasing bilateral services trade and investment.
Underlined the importance of movement of professional and skilled workers, students, investors and business travelers between both countries, as it contributes immensely to enhancing bilateral economic and technological partnership.
Agreed on the significance of negotiating a Social Security Totalization Agreement in the interest of workers from both sides, and further engagement on pursuing such an agreement welcomed.
Emphasized that the TPF should deliver continually concrete outcomes to generate mutual confidence.
Ministers directed the TPF Working Groups to develop, by March 2022, plans of action for making substantive progress, including identification of set of specific trade outcomes that could be finalized for an inter-sessional TPF meeting to be held by mid-2022.
India and United States Joint Statement on the Trade Policy Forum
1. India and the United States held the twelfth Ministerial-level meeting of the India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in New Delhi on November 23, 2021. Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai co-chaired the TPF meeting. The Ministers convened the TPF with a view to advancing the goal, announced by President Biden and Prime Minister Modi at their September 24, 2021 meeting, to “develop an ambitious, shared vision for the future of the trade relationship.” As India and the United States look ahead to define that ambitious future, the Ministers recognized the importance of engaging in collaborative discussion on the full range of existing and emerging issues affecting our trade relationship.
2. The Ministers underlined the significance of the TPF in forging robust bilateral trade ties and enhancing the bilateral economic relationshipto benefit working people in both countries. They agreed that reconvening the TPF and regular engagement under the forum would help inaddressing outstanding bilateral trade concerns andallow the two countries to explore important, emerging trade policy issues.They agreed that the TPF Working Groups on agriculture, non-agriculture goods, services,investment, and intellectual property should be re-activated in order to address issues of mutual concern on an ongoing basis.
3. The Ministers expressed satisfaction over the robust rebound in bilateral merchandise trade this year 2021 (January – September 2021), which showed almost 50 percent growth over the same period in the previous year; bilateral merchandise trade in the current year is poised to surpass US$ 100 billion mark. The Ministers also appreciatedthe importance of two-way services trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) as contributors to deeper economic and trade tiesand noted buoyancy in bilateral FDI investments in recentmonths.
4. Ambassador Tai expressed her appreciationfora number of important economic reforms recently initiated by India, such as liberalization of FDI in the insurance sector, elimination ofa retrospective provision in income tax, and launching of the “Single Window System” for facilitating investment. These reforms have enabledimprovements in the business ecosystem and Ambassador Tai encouraged the continuation of market-oriented reforms implemented through transparent means. The Ministers underlined the importance of establishing a conducive environment for further integrating the two economies to the benefit of both sides.
5. The Ministers underlined the importance of the India-U.S. trade and economic partnership in addressing global challenges. They agreed to work collaboratively and constructively in relevant multilateral trade bodies including the WTO, the G20, and the OECD both for enhancing the bilateral trade relationship andfor achieving a shared vision of a transparent, rules-based global trading system among market economies and democracies.
6. The Ministers acknowledged the significance of creating resilient and secure supply chains. In this context, they agreed that India and the United States could, together with like-minded partners, take a leading role in developing secure supply chains in critical sectors of trade and technology.Acknowledging the strong history of collaboration between India and United States in the field of health, the Ministers identified this sector as bearing particular importance in the context of work on resilient supply chains. India also noted its interest in partnering with the U.S. and allies in developing a secure pharmaceutical manufacturing base for augmenting global supply chains.
7. The Ministers also shared perspectives on the importance of health-related goods and services in U.S.-India trade relations andpledged to pursue constructive dialogue on a range of regulatory issues affecting trade in health-related products.In this regard, the United States acknowledged India’s concerns regarding delays, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, in U.S. regulatory inspections of Indian pharmaceutical facilities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to evaluate COVID-19 conditions and is conducting prioritized inspections when there is minimal risk to company and FDA officials. FDA will also continue to utilize remote evaluation techniques for regulatory decisions as appropriate.
8. The Ministers agreed on the importance of critical and emerging technologies in delivering economic growth and achieving shared strategic priorities, and took note of the work underway on these issues within the Quad framework. They discussed the importance of regular sharing of perspectives on issues, including cyberspace, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology. They welcomed the participation and collaboration of the private sector in both countries in building stronger linkages in these critical sectors, and supporting resilient and secureglobal supply chains.
Progress on Bilateral Trade Concerns
9.During the course of the TPF held on November 23, 2021, the Ministers reviewed the developments across the canvass of bilateral trade issuesandagreed to highlight the following outcomes and future priorities.
10.The Ministers acknowledged the tangible benefits accruing to Indian and U.S. farmers and businesses, by mutually resolving certain outstanding market access issues through increased bilateral engagement. Both sides also agreed to continue working to expand bilateral trade in agricultural and food products through the TPF Working Group on Agricultural Goods and committed to holdingtechnical dialogues on animal health, plant health, and food safety and other technical issues in 2022.
11. The Ministers welcomed the agreement to finalize work on market access facilitation for mangoes and pomegranates, pomegranate arils from India, and cherries and alfalfa hay for animal feed from the United States. The United States intends to finalize the transfer of the preclearance programme/regulatory oversight of irradiation for mangoes and pomegranate to Indian authorities as soon as is practicable. The United States and India also look forward to signing the Systems Approach Operational Work Plan for the export of pomegranate arils from India to the United States. India intends to finalize phyto-sanitary work to allow the importation of U.S. cherries, and India intends to finalize the phyto-sanitary certification which will allow the importation of U.S. alfalfa hay for animal feed into India. In addition, the U.S. agreed to work to complete India’s request for table grapes access to the United States, and India agreed to work to finalize the mutually agreed export certificate to allow the importation of U.S. pork and pork products.
12. The U.S. side welcomed the extension in time notified by India for accepting certain test results from ILAC accredited labs undertheMandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipment (MTCTE) policy, and both sides agreed on the importance of providing sufficient time for industry to adapt to future testing requirements. The U.S. also appreciated the extension in time notified by India regarding implementation of Polythene Material for molding and extrusion (Quality Control) Order, 2021and to consider consultation with industry to discuss labeling arrangements that satisfy the measure’s objectives.
13. The Ministers welcomed the enhanced engagement on intellectual property (IP)and recognized that the protection and enforcement of IP contributes to the promotion of innovation as well as bilateral trade and investment in IP-intensive industries. They appreciated the work of the TPF IP Working Groupand reviewed its progress in copyrights, patents, trademarks, and sharing of national experiences regarding traditional knowledge and genetic resources. The United States welcomed India’s clarifying the administration of its patent regime, including on disclosure requirements, treatment of confidential information, patent application oppositions, as well as supporting evidence for well-known trademark applications.Both the United States and India welcomed each other’s commitment to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and World Intellectual Property Organization Performance and Phonogram Treaty.
Areas for Future Work
14. The Ministers expressed an intentto continue to work together on resolving outstanding trade issues as some of these require additionalengagement in order to reach convergence in the near future. They agreed further to utilize the revitalized TPF and its Working Groups as a means of rapidly engaging on new trade concerns as they arise, and that they would take stock at quarterly intervals to evaluate progress in this regard.
15. The Ministers reviewed their particular interests for achieving progress in the area of market access. In this regard, India highlighted its interest in restoration of itsbeneficiary status under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program; the United States noted that this could be considered, as warranted, in relation tothe eligibility criteria determined by the U.S. Congress. The United States and India also exchanged views on potential targeted tariff reductions.
16. The Ministers agreed to follow up on exploring the possibility of enhanced market access for additional identified agricultural products. They also agreed to engage on U.S. concerns regarding regulatory approvals for the Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles, andIndia’s concernsregarding market access for water buffalo meat andrestoration of market access for wild caught shrimp.
17. The US side acknowledged the work being done by the Indian side to strike a balance between access to medical devices at affordablerates and the availability of cuttingedge medical technology. In this regard, the United States welcomed the recent application of the Trade Margin Rationalization (TMR) approach for price regulation on certain medical device products and India noted that wider application of TMR for other medical devices is under consideration by the relevant authorities.
18. The United Statesnoted its support for India’s ambitious goal of reaching 20 percent ethanol blending with petrol by 2025 and expressedan interest in supplyingethanol to Indiafor fuel purposes.The Ministers agreed to explore ways for enhancing collaboration for the implementation of their respective ethanol blending programs.
19. The Ministers highlighted the important role of the services sector, including digital services, in India and the United States, and the significant potential for increasing bilateral services trade and investment. They noted that the movement of professional and skilled workers, students, investors and business travelers between their countries contributes immensely to enhancingbilateral economic and technological partnership.In this respect, the Indian side welcomed the recent U.S. decision to allow travel to the United Statesby fully vaccinated Indians. The United States and India decided to continue their engagement on visa issues, and their shared resolve to facilitate the movement of professionals, skilled workers, experts, and scientific personnel.The Ministers acknowledged the ongoing discussions on a Social Security Totalization Agreement and welcomed further engagement on pursuing such an agreement.
20. The Ministers recognized that legal, nursingand accountancy services can facilitate growth in trade and investment, and they agreed to continue discussion on promoting engagement in these sectors. They discussed the importance of electronic payment services as a catalyst to the further expansion of the bilateral trade relationship, and both sides agreed to continue engagement in this area.
21. The Ministers exchanged views on harnessing the vast potential of digital trade to spur economic growth and innovation, and committed to work together to build common understanding, and increase engagement both bilaterally,including inthe TPF and ICT Working Group, andin relevant multilateralfora, including the G20 and WTO. They pledged to deepen bilateral engagement to promote the digital economy, and to explore the adoption of joint principles that ensure that the internet remains open for free exchange of ideas, goods, and services.
22. The Ministers agreed to further engage to find mutually agreed solutions on outstanding WTO disputes between the two countries.
Engagement on Emerging Issues
23. The Ministers also exchanged information on the relationship between trade and labour emphasizing the importance of trade in creating employment and opportunities for working population. The Ministers shared perspectives on the role of trade in improving the welfare of working people in India and the United States.The Ministers also agreed to work together on issues of child labour and forced labour in global supply chains in order to promote resilience and sustainability.
24. The Ministers shared perspectives on the relationship between trade and environment matters and exchanged views on approaches to increase the utilization of renewable energy and other clean technologies to achieve net-zero emissions, including by aiming to mobilize finance and scale innovative clean technologies as agreed in the India – US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership.
25. The Ministers agreed to exchange information on standards and conformity assessment procedures to ensure that requirements are no more trade restrictive than necessary and are in line with international agreements. They also noted the importance of transparency in the rulemaking process and agreed to explore ways to enhance good regulatory practices.
26. The Ministers also agreed to relaunch workshops focused on accelerating implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
27. The Ministers concluded byunderlining the importance of integrating the two economies across sectors to harness the untapped potential of the relationship. They agreed that the TPF should seek to continually deliver concrete outcomes to generate mutual confidence. Such an approach would contribute to a more ambitious future for the bilateral trade and economic relationship and take it to the next level so that both countries could benefit from the inherent complementarities in the two economies. This would lead to economic prosperity, employment generation and improvement in livelihood in both the countries. In this connection, they directed the TPF Working Groups to develop, by March 2022, plans of action for making substantive progress. They further directed their senior officials to remain in regular contact to review the activity of the Working Groups and identify a set of specific trade outcomes that could be finalized for an inter-sessional TPF meeting to be held by mid-2022.
28. The Ministers agreed to remain engaged to give greater energy to the TPF’s work and to reconvene the TPF at the Ministerial level before the end of 2022.
Readout: United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi yesterday met with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Commerce Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam. Ambassadors Tai and Bianchi expressed their appreciation to the Government of India, and to Minister Goyal personally, for the warm welcome they have received in India.
Ambassador Tai and Minister Goyal previewed the U.S.-India Trade P
olicy Forum (TPF) meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, November 23. They welcomed the re-launch of the TPF after four years, and agreed that the revitalized TPF will contribute to deepening the bilateral trade relationship by establishing regular contact aimed at resolving trade obstacles.
Ambassador Tai and Minister Goyal also reviewed a number of issues on the agenda at the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization and the need to work constructively to reach meaningful outcomes.
United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today joined Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal to re-launch the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in New Delhi. This was the 12th TPF Ministerial, and the the first since 2017.
Ambassador Tai and Minister Goyal shared views on a range of bilateral trade concerns, and agreed to continue their efforts to resolve issues in a manner that builds confidence towards a stronger and more durable U.S.-India trade relationship.
During the TPF meeting, Ambassador Tai outlined key elements of the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centered trade policy, emphasizing the potential for the United States and India, as vibrant, market-oriented democracies, to cooperate more extensively as strategic partners to implement trade policies that benefit the working people of both countries.
Ambassador Tai expressed satisfaction that the TPF meeting produced a Joint Statement reflecting shared concerns and priorities, highlighting areas for further work, and outlining the potential for deeper bilateral cooperation on important issues including, digital trade; agriculture; the relationship between trade, labor and the environment; good regulatory practices; and standards and conformity assessment.
Ambassador Tai and Minister Goyal directed their officials to intensify their engagement, including through the TPF’s working groups, and expressed their intention to convene the TPF again at the ministerial level in 2022.
Ambassador Tai reiterated her sincere thanks to Minister Goyal and the Government of India for their hospitality and excellent arrangements for the TPF meeting.