New Delhi, India - The fourth meeting of the US India Trade Policy Forum was held on
30th May 2006 in New Delhi. The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador
Karan Bhatia, Deputy United States Trade Representative (DUSTR) and Shri S.N.
Menon, Commerce Secretary.
The agenda included discussions on Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers;
Agriculture; Investment; Services and Intellectual Property Rights. The discussions on all these issue areas
took place in a spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding. Information on these issues was
exchanged so as to have a clearer comprehension of each other’s concerns and to
outline, where possible, steps to address these concerns. Both sides developed an action plan to
move forward to a higher level of bilateral economic engagement in preparation
for the forthcoming visit of Minister Nath to the US.
In addition, Ambassador Bhatia met Shri Kamal Nath, Commerce &
Industry Minister on 29th May 2006, where they reviewed the present
level of bilateral trade. Both
acknowledged that the present level of bilateral trade is far below potential
and renewed the commitment to work towards achieving the target of doubling
trade (to approximately US $ 60 billion) in three years. It was agreed that the Trade Policy
Forum provides a mechanism to strengthen the bilateral environment in order to
achieve that goal.
The next meeting of the Trade Policy Forum will be held on
22nd June 2006 in Washington, DC
at the Ministerial level.
The US-India Trade Policy Forum is an institutional arrangement
between the two governments to discuss trade and investment issues. Trade Policy Forum was launched during
the visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to the US in
July 2005. The inaugural session of
the Forum was held in November 2005 in New Delhi,
the second session of the Forum was in February 2006 in Washington, DC and the
third meeting was held in March, 2006 in New Delhi.