India-USA : Trade Ties

  • Annual bilateral trade between the U.S. and India has doubled over the last decade and was $114 billion in 2016. Unfortunately, over the same period, trade deficit tripled, now at $27 billion
  • India’s investors invested $12.1 billion in the U.S. last year, U.S. investors invested $32.9 billion in India.
  • 5 % of U.S. exports were to India, while only 6.3 % of Indian exports goes to America.
  • India – America: rising imbalance in trade with India is a concern for America.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Observations:
  • India must open its market to more American companies.
  • India must also take more effective measures to protect innovation by improving its intellectual property protections.
New 2+2 format:
  • India and the U.S have decided to move to the 2+2 format of engagement involving the Secretaries of Defence and State Departments from the American side and Ministers for Defence and External Affairs Ministers from the Indian side.
Concerns of US:
  • Market access issues
  • Import regulations relating to poultry
  • Ground handling operations
  • Export of pork to India and
  • Price controls on medical devices.
Concerns of India: 
  • Easing of procedure for export of Indian pomegranates and mangoes and market access for table grapes from India.
  • Problems faced by Indian services companies in obtaining H-1B and L-1 visas. It requested US to ease movement of skilled professionals as Indian IT companies contribute significantly to American economy.
  • Issue of mismatch between US visa and US social security regimes was also raised. In this case, Indian professionals making social security contributions, but they do not receive their due benefits upon their return to India
Greater opportunities for US exports to India: 
  • National IPR Policy 2016 lays down roadmap for future development in field of IPRs. It is considered as major step towards strengthening IPR ecosystem in India, including improvements in procedures, timelines and resolution of disputes.
  • Draft Pharmaceutical Policy addresses many of US concerns. India desires to address concerns of providing affordable healthcare to its citizens and balancing it with the need to introduce high end technology. US manufacturers of medical devices have been encouraged to establish manufacturing facilities in India.
  • India already has started to import crude oil and new Liquefied Natural Gas exports are expected to commence early next year.
  • Indian aviation companies have placed orders for over 300 aircrafts valued at several billions of dollars.

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