Sitharaman and Michael Froman deliberate visa issues and totalisation agreement
The Dollar Business Bureau
India and the United States deliberated issues pertaining to visa, movement of professionals and totalisation agreement during the 10th India- US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting involving the Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Trade Representative Michael Froman.
It was noted that it is important for the two countries to facilitate movement of professionals, experts, and scientific personnel to foster trade and enhance bilateral ties. This can be done only with the early conclusion of the totalisation agreement or social security pact which paves way for the exchange of Indian IT professionals.
The other areas that the two leaders divulged upon included the need of a good (Intellectual Property Rights) IPR regime which is required for spurring creativity, innovation and attracting investment. They praised the engagement on intellectual property (IP) and reviewed the results of the dialogues on copyrights, trade secrets, patents, genetic resources, traditional knowledge and the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), standard essential patents and IP policies that took place in 2016. Both countries emphasized the role of robust and balanced IPR protection in fostering creativity, promoting innovation, and attracting investment, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, including the public.
Sitharaman and Froman reiterated the goal of ensuring the poorest population in India and the United States have access to quality healthcare and recognised the important role that trade, intellectual property and innovation policies play in enhancing access to quality health and affordable medicines for the public at large. This is where the role of trade, IP and innovation policies comes into play, an issue raised by the two nations during their one-day meeting. With respect to the same, Froman highlighted the need for transparent notice and comment process to implement and evaluate the Policy.
The leaders shed light on the issue of unauthorised recording, including camcording of films in cinemas and copyright piracy on websites. The other issues of discussion involved implementing effective trade mechanisms in order to protect trading secrets of their respective countries. The conference also revealed India’s plans to undertake a further study on various legal approaches for the protection of trade secrets.