The India US Trade Policy Forum meeting has resulted in a smoother, friendlier and trusted environment for businesses to expand their trade and investment between the two countries, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said Wednesday.
”Since we relaunched it (TPF) in a new form that renewed vigour in November 2021, we have seen this becoming a very robust and outcome-oriented discussion on several issues of mutual interest, which is resulting in a smoother business environment, a more friendly and trusted business environment for businesses to expand their trade and investment between the two countries,” Goyal told a group of Indian reporters here at the conclusion of the 13th India-US TPF meeting which was co-chaired by him and the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
”The Trade Policy Forum truly is one platform on which we have very free and frank discussions on a plethora of issues, some predefined on the table, and many which emerge from the discussions. And therefore, this kind of friendly atmosphere in which the US and India can actually discuss issues of mutual interest, and at times issues also, which cause concern on either side of the countries are discussed in a very, very open atmosphere in a very transparent manner,” Goyal said.
According to a USTR press release, the meeting provided the two ministers with the opportunity to review the work that has taken place, since the re-launch of the TPF in November 2021, under the Forum’s working groups, and to provide their guidance on priorities to pursue as part of the TPF’s 2023 work programme.
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In her remarks during the TPF meeting, Tai emphasized that the TPF is contributing directly to the strength of US-India bilateral relations by providing a structure for constructive dialogue on trade policy matters. She noted the tremendous potential for ”growth between our economies”, and the equally significant potential to ensure that bilateral trade brings a positive impact to working people in both countries. Tai also highlighted the commitment of both President Biden and herself to ensure that bilateral trade dialogue contributes directly to helping the United States and India respond to shared challenges in the global economy.
The US official also highlighted the creation of a new TPF Working Group on Resilient Trade. Building on common ground achieved at the 12th TPF, this new Working Group will provide a structured framework for trade-focused bilateral discussion of issues of mutual interest including trade facilitation, labor, environment, and good regulatory practices, all with a view towards building a more resilient future for our economies, a media release said.
Goyal said there was a very robust discussion amongst the officials and then today at the ministerial level, at finding solutions to the several WTO disputes that have been going on for several years between the US and India.
”These outstanding disputes are areas where both countries have had some wins and some losses. And we have directed our officials to engage very aggressively and over the next two or three months to see if we can find a bilateral settlement of some of these WTO disputes demonstrating the trust and friendship between the two countries,” Goyal said.
Goyal hoped that some satisfactory outcomes will come in the next few months on bilateral settlement of WTO disputes.