14th India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) Ministerial Meeting

The 14th Ministerial-level meeting of the India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) convened in New Delhi on January 12, 2024. Co-chaired by India's Minister of Commerce and Industry, and U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador.

Key Points

  • Joint Initiatives for Future Cooperation: The Ministers committed to laying the groundwork for future Joint Initiatives, focusing on critical areas like critical minerals, customs and trade facilitation, supply chains, and trade in high-tech products.
  • Joint Facilitative Mechanism to Tackle Non-Tariff Barriers: A Joint Facilitative Mechanism (JFM) will be established to address non-tariff barriers, seeking mutual recognition of results from International Laboratories and bilateral mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs).
  • Digitalization of Trade Documents: Ambassador Tai appreciated India's G20 Presidency and the adoption of High-Level Principles on Digitalization of Trade Documents.
  • Both nations pledged to support the implementation of these principles in other forums, building on G20 outcomes.
  • Advancement in Social Security Agreement: Discussions on a Social Security Totalization Agreement progressed, and both sides encouraged expediting engagement for a future agreement.
  • This agreement holds significance for enhancing services trade and supporting Indian IT professionals working temporarily in the U.S.
  • Resolution on Wild Caught Shrimps Ban: The Indian side raised concerns about the ban on exports of wild-caught shrimps, affecting Indian fishermen and exports to the U.S.
  • Both Ministers welcomed the finalization of the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) design, aiming to minimize the impact on sea-turtle populations and foster enhanced seafood trade.
  • Resilient Trade Working Group Developments: Discussions under the Resilient Trade Working Group continued, focusing on India's designation as a Trade Agreement Act (TAA) Compliant country.
  • USFDA Inspection Challenges and Pharma Exports: India emphasized the need to increase U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) inspections in India to pre-pandemic levels, crucial for the pharmaceutical sector.
  • Bilateral Trade Momentum and Past Achievements: The Ministers acknowledged the robust growth in India-US bilateral trade, likely surpassing $200 billion in 2023. They reviewed substantial progress since the 13th TPF, highlighting the settlement of longstanding trade disputes at the World Trade Organization.