United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk met today with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma to discuss a range of bilateral and multilateral issues. Ambassador Kirk reaffirmed that the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) is the premier dialogue for addressing trade and investment issues between the two countries. The two agreed that the TPF should be strengthened to better facilitate resolution of outstanding issues of concern, and looked forward to a constructive meeting of the TPF later this year.
“The booming bilateral trade and investment flows between the United States and India support tens of thousands of critical jobs in both countries, and we know that will only grow significantly in the coming years.” Ambassador Kirk said. “However, to continue and grow our successes both India and the United States must take concrete steps to resolve long-standing market access and investment concerns.”
Additionally, Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma also discussed negotiations on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Ambassador Kirk reiterated the interest of the United States in re-starting technical-level discussions between the two countries at the earliest opportunity to advance those negotiations. The two agreed that both countries should re-invigorate those negotiations by holding such discussions as soon as possible, ideally before the next meeting of the TPF.
On the World Trade Organization Doha Round, Ambassador Kirk and Minister Sharma recognized the challenges that remain in ongoing discussions but expressed their commitment to exploring options for productive next steps.