"The good news is that our mangoes are going to America and Harley Davidson is coming here."
New DelhiApril 13In an admittedly odd exchange of sorts, India would be exporting its exotic mangoes to the US this season in return for allowing motorcycles from the Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc's (HOG) of the US to India.
At a meeting on Indo-US Trade Policy Forum here, the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, said, "The good news is that our mangoes are going to America and Harley Davidson is coming here."
For Indian fruit growers, the good news has come after 18 years since the US banned mango imports from here on concerns about Indian farmers were using too many pesticides. Instead, the farmers now irradiate the fruit to kill any pests, rendering the mangoes fit for consumption and in keeping up with sanitary standards of US agriculture administration.
On the motorbike, the Minister's remarks were followed up by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) who issued a notification promptly, permitting import of motorcycles of engine capacity 800 cc or above. The DGFT said the imported motorcycles must meet Euro III emission norms.
At the time of import, the importer has to submit Type Approval Certificate, copy of an international accredited agency from the country of origin. Individuals, companies and firms, and original equipment manufacturers who have manufacturing and service network in India could import these machines.
Addressing the gathering, the US Trade Representative Ms Susan Schwab said, "In a few short weeks, Indian mangoes will enter the US market. In return," she said, "we have received indications that the Indian government will accept Euro 3 (emission) standards for heavy motorcycles, creating an opportunity for a niche in the market."
No agreements yet
Though no agreement was reached on tariffs, Ms Schwab said, "If tariffs were to come down, trade in this sector would steadily begin to flow." She said total bilateral trade in goods and services could hit $50 billion this year.
Both sides deliberated infringement of intellectual property rights, with India pleading with Washington to crack the whip on those plying in pirated versions of popular Indian films in the US market. "We raised the issue of widespread availability of pirated Indian films and music in the US. They could be found in any grocery store. The US has assured us it will look into it," Mr Nath said.
Ms Schwab said more Indian organic produce would now be going to the US as Indian agents could certify them. She asked Mr Nath to further bring down tariffs to boost trade and "generate a win-win" situation.
Both sides also announced the formation of a private sector advisory group of eminent American and Indian trade experts to provide strategic recommendations, and insights into the US-India Trade Policy Forum.
While US representatives include Ambassador Ms Carla A Hills; Mr C. Fred Bergsten, Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics; Mr John J. Castellani, President of the Business Roundtable and Mr Ron Somers, President of the US-India Business Council. Indian experts include: Dr V. S. Krishnamurthy, Chairman, National Manufacturing Competitive Council; Dr Isher Judge Adularia, Chairman, ICRIER/alternatively; Dr Rajiv Kumar, Director, ICRIER, Mr R. Seshasayee, President, CII/alternatively; Lt. General S. S. Mehta, Director General, CII; Mr Habil Khoraikiwala, President, FICCI/ alternatively and Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General, FICCI.Related Stories:
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