Close partnership on supply chains emerges as key thrust area at the Trade Policy Forum

Trade Policy Forum

After an interlude of 4 years, the Trade Policy Forum dialogue was revived with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s maiden trip to India on Monday. Closer partnership on supply chains has emerged as a key thrust area and the two countries have ‘vowed’ to take the trade partnership to the ‘next level’.

Katherine also talked about the issues that stakeholders of the logistics solutions community commonly face in both countries, including market restrictions, high tariffs, unpredictable regulatory requirements and restrictive digital trade measures. She said, “These are the 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 benefit our trade relations.”

The TPF is a ministerial-level engagement platform to resolve trade & investment issues, and further the growth prospects between the two countries. While the Indian wishlist involves Visas, Totalisation Agreement and market access to farm products along with increased FDI, the US has been eyeing for lower tariffs for its products, doing away with local production mandates and easier data norms, primarily.

Now that the world looks at India as a trusted global partner, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that the two countries can mutually benefit from their partnership considering the skilled manpower and advantages of cost available in India and the scale of investment and innovation that the US offers.

The India-US Trade Policy Forum has five focus groups – agriculture, investment, innovation and creativity (intellectual property rights), services, and tariff and non-tariff barriers. Goyal said the two countries have realized the need for diversifying critical supply chains and are poised to play an increasingly important role when it comes to resilient supply chains, working with other like-minded nations.

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