United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma met today in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to strengthen the growing bilateral trade and investment relationship, including through more active engagement under the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF). The TPF is the primary bilateral mechanism for addressing trade and investment issues. Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma agreed that the TPF played a critical role in promoting trade and investment flows between the two countries to higher levels that better reflected the importance of the bilateral economic partnership. They reaffirmed their commitment to helping ensure that the TPF produce concrete outcomes that would be meaningful to workers in both countries. As part of this commitment, Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma discussed steps that both governments would take in the coming months, lay the groundwork for a successful next meeting of the TPF in early 2012.
Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma also welcomed upcoming technical discussions on the BIT. They expressed support for holding an additional round of discussions before the next TPF meeting and working constructively to move those discussions forward in a timely manner. Minister Sharma also expressed appreciation for the progress made by the Senate on GSP legislation and looked forward to final Congressional reauthorization of GSP.
The total value of trade in goods between our two countries has increased over threefold since 2001, with over half of that coming in the last five years. Both countries also continue to significantly expand investment ties, with investment doubling in each direction since 2007.