tai: India, US to discuss revival of trade forum and intellectual property rights
Tai’s two-day visit, which begins on Monday, precedes a crucial World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference next week.
“Some long-standing bilateral agricultural issues could be discussed,” an official said. “Our wish list includes market access for table grapes and pomegranate arils, while the United States wants tariff reductions on certain products such as pecans, walnuts and almonds.” India’s merchandise exports to the United States in FY21 were $ 51.6 billion while imports were $ 28.8 billion.
The Department of Commerce and Industry has previously sought comments and suggestions from industry on their concerns and challenges such as filing, registering, enforcing, or marketing intellectual property rights in the United States, which can be discussed in the forum.
According to another source, Tai will meet with Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and other senior ministers during his visit, the first as the United States’ chief trade negotiator.
Earlier this month, Tai and Goyal met virtually, during which they agreed to discuss in detail ways to expand trade relations, ensure the success of the Trade Policy Forum and find ways significant results at the ministerial meeting.
In agriculture, the United States wants India to allow the import of certain American products such as cherries, alfalfa hay and pork. He also wants India to accept the dairy export certificate agreed in 2020. In return, India hopes for simplified procedures for the export of its mangoes, grapes and pomegranate arils, and market access for beef.
The two sides agreed to hold the Trade Policy Forum after four years, and key bilateral trade issues – especially those related to IPRs – should be addressed.
The timing of Tai’s visit is important as Washington partially supported the India-South Africa proposal on waiving certain provisions of copyright, industrial designs, patents, and protection of undisclosed information in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the prevention, containment or treatment of Covid-19. It is now sponsored by 64 WTO members. The WTO wants to reach agreement on the global response to the pandemic and India wants the waiver proposal to be part of the response.