Saturday, June 25th, 2022 18:57:09

India, United States  to  strengthen trade and economic ties

Updated: July 17, 2020 3:20 pm

India and the United States have expressed their resolve to work together to further strengthen the trade and economic ties.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held an informal tele-conversation yesterday. The two leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation in both the countries and appreciated the cooperation between India and the US, in fighting the pandemic. They also conversed on the ongoing India-US trade discussions and appreciated the substantial progress made by the two sides on most of the outstanding issues. There was a desire expressed to conclude this initial limited trade package and recognise the complementarities of the India-US bilateral trade and discussed the possibility of an FTA.

In response to Mr Goyal’s concern on USA keeping 24 Indian items under Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act list and designating them as ‘child labour sectors’, thereby denying them the opportunity to participate in supply contracts of US government agencies, Secretary Ross offered to set up a meeting between the labour department officials of both sides.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal also flagged the pending ‘US-India Social Security Totalisation Agreement’, which had been also discussed during the visit of US President Trump to India in February this year. While appreciating India’s concern, Secretary Ross mentioned that the statutory requirements of the US have to be fulfilled by India in this regard. He offered to arrange a meeting between the U.S. Social Security Administrator and concerned Indian officials to discuss and find a possible solution.

Mr Goyal also raised a concern on the US ban on import of wild catch shrimp from India on the premise that fishing practices followed in India were non-compliant with US regulations to protect sea turtles. He mentioned the various conservation measures taken by Indian maritime states in protecting the sea turtles. Secretary Ross appreciated India’s concerns and agreed to facilitate a discussion between the officials of the US State Department and Office of Marine Conservation with the Indian Department of Fisheries and Ministry of Forest and Environment, in this regard.

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