Bilateral forum to discuss issues of India’s textile, agri, pharma exports to US
The Dollar Business Bureau India has asked the United States to set up a separate working group to discuss non-tariff barriers faced by certain Indian textile products and issues of market access for pharmaceuticals and agricultural products in the US. Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia raised these issues during her meeting with US Deputy USTR Ambassador Robert Holleyman on Tuesday. The meeting was held in New Delhi to deliberate on the agenda setting, modalities and dates for convening the 9th round of the ministerial level meeting of the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) – a bilateral forum to enhance economic partnership between the two countries. The ministerial level meeting of the forum is likely to be held in the US by the end of October. “Market access issues of agrarian products namely, rice, mangoes, pomegranates and table grapes also figured in the discussion as did US Department of Labour listing of textile products which acting as a non-tariff barrier,” a Ministry of Commerce statement said. Teaotia suggested the setting up of a separate working group to discuss the issue of market access for Indian pharmaceuticals and traditional AYUSH pharmacopeia and professionals in the US. The Commerce Secretary also flagged various other issues that India would like to take up at the next meeting of the TPF. She highlighted the need for setting up a high level group to discuss India’s concerns on the US Totalization and Social Security Act. As per the existing US norms, Indians employed in the US on short-term basis are supposed to pay social security tax but do not get benefits of the scheme. The issue of high visa costs and corresponding higher wage implications and its impact on India’s IT industry and professionals are also likely to figure in the next TPF meeting.
July 22, 2015 | 6:42 pm IST.