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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

US asks India to address ‘longstanding impediments’ to trade

The United States has asked India to address what it called “longstanding impediments” like investment caps, agricultural market access barriers and high tariffs as they work on accelerating their bilateral economic relationship.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk also listed “intellectual property rights, and the need for continuing regulatory streamlining and transparency” among the impediments at a meeting Tuesday with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, according to an official US readout.

The Indian embassy in a statement on India-US CEOs’ Forum said “Sharma separately met USTR Ron Kirk and discussed issues relating to India-US trade relations.” It gave no details.

“Kirk urged India to address longstanding impediments, such as investment caps, agricultural market access barriers, high tariffs, intellectual property rights, and the need for continuing regulatory streamlining and transparency,” USTR’s office said.

The meeting, it said was held “in the aftermath of the much-anticipated and successful US-India Strategic Dialogue” and the US-India CEO Forum “and in anticipation of the next ministerial Trade Policy Forum and the President’s visit in the fall.”

Meeting to review progress on the US-India bilateral trade agenda, the ministers agreed to continue to work together to meet the objectives set out in the Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment signed in March ‘to enhance opportunities for bilateral trade and investment and, ultimately, to create jobs in the United States and India,” the USTR said.

Given the emphasis in all of these venues on further accelerating the bilateral economic relationship, “Kirk urged India to address longstanding impediments, such as investment caps, agricultural market access barriers, high tariffs, intellectual property rights, and the need for continuing regulatory streamlining and transparency,” it added.

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