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India and the US revive a mechanism to align their trade policies

The Port of Los Angeles, in a file photograph. EFE / EPA / ETIENNE LAURENT

New Delhi, Nov 23 (EFE) .- India and the United States on Tuesday gave new encouragement to the Trade Policy Forum (TPF), a bilateral mechanism created to correct the long list of trade obstacles, after four years paralyzed by differences during the Administration of former President Donald Trump.
The twelfth TPF ministerial meeting, the first since 2017, was held in New Delhi and was led by India’s Minister of Trade and Industry Piyush Goyal and the United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai.
The TPF was convened with a view to advancing the goal announced on September 24 by US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “developing an ambitious and shared vision for the future of the business relationship.” , according to a joint statement.
The push by Washington and New Delhi to revive this mechanism, which was put on hold after a series of friction and criticism by Trump of India’s protectionist policies, is an attempt by the parties to correct a long list of bottlenecks that hold back bilateral trade.
At today’s meeting, representatives “recognized the importance of participating in a collaborative discussion on the full range of existing and emerging issues that affect our business relationship,” they stated in the statement.
Despite their attempts to build a powerful relationship to counter China’s expansion, in the past four years the alliance of the two nations has been hampered by trade policies.
The policy battle between the two countries escalated in 2017 after Washington increased its levy on Indian steel and aluminum, to which India responded by imposing new tariffs on a number of American products.
This was followed by Washington’s decision to end the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) treatment, which exempted the Asian nation from paying tariff rates on some products of interest.
The GSP allowed Indian exporters of specific categories duty-free access to the US market.
The measure was finalized shortly after former President Donald Trump presented to Congress his intention to cancel the GSP status of India, considering that that country has not been able to guarantee “equitable and reasonable” access to its market in “numerous sectors. “
India responded to this reciprocally by increasing tariffs on some thirty US items.
The TPF seeks to bridge trade differences in four areas: agriculture, investment, intellectual property rights, and tariff and non-tariff services.
According to the TPF statement, bilateral trade showed a growth of almost 50 percent over the same period of the previous year; on the verge of breaking the $ 100 billion mark.

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