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Remarks of United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk at the Trade Policy Forum Press Conference

October 26, 2009

"Thank you all. Thank you for joining us.

Let me begin once again by expressing my gratitude on behalf of our entire United States delegation to Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, and Commerce Secretary Khullar for their extraordinary hospitality in helping to host and welcome us for what has been a wonderfully productive sixth U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum. I've had the opportunity during my short time on the ground here back in New Delhi to meet with members of your business industry as well as to your Deputy Chairman of your Planning Commission and many others to highlight what we think is the extraordinary opportunity to build on what is and can be and should be one of the most productive geopolitical relationships in the world between the United States and India.

As many of you know, trade between the United States and India has doubled over the last three years but yet we believe that's only the tip of the iceberg. While the United States is the second highest destination for India's exports, India is the United States' 18th largest trade partner. We believe that represents great progress, but can see no justifiable reason for why India should not be one of our top ten trading partners.

So we have met this afternoon through various focus groups led by Senior Officials of both the United States and Indian Governance across the board to talk about ways we can continue to build on this extraordinary relationship.

We think in particular there are some obvious areas for great cooperation and increased trade in two-way sectors such as infrastructure, health care services, and education services, information, communications technology, and energy and environmental services, just to name a few.

We also raised during our bilateral discussions some very honest areas where we have room for improvement and outstanding issues on which the United States has asked for more attention from India including improvement of its intellectual property rights regime, which we think will not only give greater comfort for American entrepreneurs and investors in the creative services area, but will also prove extraordinarily valuable to India's growing entrepreneurial community as well as those in the arts and entertainment business as well. We'd also like to see more improvement and openness in the investment environment for U.S. businesses in India.

But overall, we had an extraordinarily productive afternoon, building toward what we know will be a very exciting and productive visit to the United States by your Prime Minister later in the month.

We have made great progress towards what we hope will be a formal framework on cooperation on trade and investment which we hope to sign within the very near future.

We also focused on ways to revitalize investment, both in India and in the United States, and to ensure that our Trade Policy Forum is going to be more focused on results rather than just rhetoric.

It was our goal in coming to India to improve the tone and frankness of the discussions in the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, and to that end this has been an extraordinary success. The bottom line, the United States is excited and committed to improving our relationship with India. I would like to think that my traveling to New Delhi twice in just under 60 days is evidence of that as well as previous visits by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other administration officials.

We share so much with India, from a commitment to democracy, to valuing human rights, to an openness in economy, and we are committed to working with one another to improving the lives of those whom we serve and create a much more robust trade relationship between our great countries."