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U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum Facts
The U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) is co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma. The TPF is the premier bilateral forum for the discussion and resolution of trade and investment issues between the United States and India. Discussions in the TPF are generally organized around five Focus Groups covering the following areas: Agriculture; Innovation and Creativity; Investment; Services; Tariffs and Non-Tariff Barriers.
India as a Growing Export Destination
India is the 17th largest export market for U.S. goods. Exports to India for the first seven months of this year have increased over 20% from the same period last year.
In the 2005-2009 period, U.S. goods exports to India have more than doubled, and the bilateral trade deficit has been reduced by half.
India’s impressive economic development is one of the many reasons President Obama has hailed U.S.-India relations as among the highest priorities of his Administration.
Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
In March 2010, the United States and India signed a Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment under the auspices of the TPF.
The Framework established a work plan calling for, among other things, achieving increased opportunities for U.S. and Indian SMEs to expand ties, enhance participation in global supply value chains, and export to and invest in each other’s economies.
In furtherance of this work plan item, the U.S.-India Business Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry sponsored the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-India SME Forum on September 21, 2010. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Minister Sharma addressed the forum and highlighted the value of this Forum given the critical importance of SMEs to the growth in the U.S.-India trade and investment relationship.
Ministerial Level Exchange
The TPF provides the venue for evaluating progress that has been made on trade and investment issues between the United States and India at the ministerial level.
Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma reviewed progress reports presented by the Focus Groups and instructed them to intensify their efforts, before the President’s November visit to India and throughout the coming year, to maximize the possibility of achieving priority goals in the trade and investment relationship.
Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG)
The PSAG was created in 2007 as an adjunct to the TPF, providing an institutional structure for a select group of experts from the non-governmental sector in the United States and India to provide strategic input on how to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries.
In connection with this year’s TPF, the PSAG presented a report to Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma highlighting the commercial benefits to both countries of signing an agreement on technology trade and taking steps to increase investment in logistics and infrastructure.