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The Editorial Analysis- Breaking the Ice

U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum- Context

  • Recently, the U.S. Trade Representative held bilateral meetings with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister and relaunched the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF).

U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum- Associated issues in India-US relations

  • There were setbacks in India US relations, including
    • Raised import tariffs and
    • The withdrawal of benefits to Indian exporters under the U.S.’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
    • These setbacks have triggered retaliatory trade barbs from India
  • Recently elected Joe Biden administration shut the door on new trade pacts and became cold to restoring the GSP status.
    • S. Trade Representative said that GSP restoration could be considered while nudging India to set targets for tariff reductions and easing market access across sectors.
  • Regulatory Hurdles: Indian pharmaceutical companies face delays in U.S. regulatory inspections of their pharma units.
  • Unmet Trade Potential: Indo-U.S. trade never really lives up to its potential and India’s unpredictable regulatory shifts, tariff- and non-tariff barriers also create issues.


U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum- Key Points

  • About: US.-India Trade Policy Forum statement also outlines the sectors and goods and services that need quick attention.
    • The last U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) was convened four years back.
  • Importance of India for the USA:
    • The U.S looks at India as a key partner in rebuilding critical supply chains in a post-pandemic world seeking to cut its dependence on China.
    • This is clear from the USA’s desire for integration in areas such as health, medical devices and pharma.
    • India’s pharma exports account for 40% of the U.S.’s generic drugs supply and the USA has assured India that it would look into the matter.


U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum- Way Forward

  • While America’s stance on India’s proposal on IPR waivers for the COVID-19 vaccine and medicines will be watched at the upcoming WTO ministerial, India must seize this fresh initiative with the U.S. to cement its place in the new supply chains being envisaged.
  • India must pro-actively steer away from the protectionism that is leading the globalized world adrift.

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