Last week, the Alliance for Trade Enforcement sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai in support of strengthening the U.S.-India trade relationship. The letter comes in advance of Ambassador Tai’s November 22-23 in-person meeting in New Delhi with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.
At a virtual meeting between the two on Wednesday, November 3, Ambassador Tai and Minister Goyal expressed their shared commitment to expanding U.S.-India trade and renewing the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF).
AFTE’s letter to Ambassador Tai urged USTR to ensure that the renewed TPF eliminates significant trade barriers in India. The U.S.-India TPF set a goal in 2014 to grow annual bilateral trade volumes to $500 billion. Still today, seven years later, that goal has not been met.
Addressing onerous trade barriers in India can help to realize the potential of this trading relationship, benefiting both countries’ economies and strengthening the overall relationship. A few of the trade barriers AFTE flagged in the letter include:
- Digital protectionist policies that limit electronic payment services firms from doing business in India
- Preferential procurement policies that block U.S. pharmaceuticals and medical devices from reaching Indian patients
- Weak and inconsistent protections for trade secrets that discourage IP-intensive sectors from investing in Indian markets
- Biased regulatory processes that lead to a preference for companies of Indian origin across multiple sectors
In its letter to USTR, AFTE outlines steps that India and the United States can take to address these and other barriers to increase trade between our two nations. Removing these barriers and renewing the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum can create valuable economic opportunities for workers and businesses in both countries.