India-United States Trade Policy Forum – UPSC GS2

India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF):
  • India-United States TPF is a premier forum to resolve trade and investment issues between the two countries.
  • Chaired by: The forum is co-chaired by the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry and U.S. Trade Representative.
  • Focus Groups: The forum has five focus groups – agriculture, investment, innovation and creativity (intellectual property rights), services, and tariff and non-tariff barriers.
  • Its 12th meeting was held in New Delhi recently.
What are the key highlights of the meeting?
  • Bilateral Trade: The bilateral trade between India and the US stood at $80.5 billion in 2020-21. India has received $13.8 billion foreign direct investment from the US during 2020-21.
  • Mutual Market Access: The Forum has decided to sign an agreement to facilitate U.S. market access for mangoes, grapes, and pomegranates, pomegranate arils from India, and reciprocate with similar access in the Indian market to cherries, pork/pork products from the United States.
  • Restoration of GSP:  India has sought restoration of the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits by the U.S.
  • Totalisation Agreement: The countries have decided to negotiate a Social Security Totalisation Agreement. The totalisation agreement would allow workers from both countries to move their retirement savings. A lack of such an agreement particularly affects Indian IT workers in the USA, who lose billions of dollars in statutory U.S. social security contributions that they cannot repatriate home.
  • Ethanol Supply: US has expressed an interest in supplying ethanol to India for its goal of 20% ethanol blending with petrol by 2025.

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