Agri Business

India, US agree to facilitate market access for mangoes, pomegranates, cherries, hay

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 23, 2021

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal with United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, in New Delhi, on Nov. 22, 2021.   -  PTI

India highlights the importance of restoration of GSP benefits at the TPF led by Tai, Goyal

India and the US have agreed to facilitate market access for mangoes and pomegranates from India and cherries, and alfalfa hay for animal feed from the US at the India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) met in New Delhi on Tuesday after a gap of four years.

At the TPF, led by Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, it was decided to activate working groups on agriculture, non-agriculture goods, services, investment, and intellectual property, which would frequently meet to address issues of mutual concern of both sides on a mutually beneficial manner, according to an official release issued by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on Tuesday.

Restoration GSP benefits

“India highlighted the significance of the restoration of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits as it would help industries from both sides in integrating their supply chain efficiently. United States noted it for suitable consideration,” the release said.

The GSP, under which exporters of particular products from India got duty-free market access into the US, was withdrawn for India by the Trump government.

“There was an emphasis on tangible benefits to farmers and businesses of both countries by resolving outstanding market access issues through continuous engagement,” the release stated.

Market access for other items

The two also agreed to resolve market access for grapes, water buffalo meat, and wild-caught shrimp from India and pork & pork products and distillers’ dried grains with solubles from the US--issues awaiting resolution for a long time.

Tai and Deputy Ambassador Sarah Bianchi are in New Delhi on a two-day official visit for bilateral talks with Goyal and participate in the TPF, which last met in 2017.

The US is amongst India’s top trading partners, with exports to the country in 2020-21 valued at $51.62 billion and imports at $28.88 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of about $23 billion for the US.

Cooperation in health sector

India highlighted the importance of cooperation in the health sector and expressed interest in partnering with the US and allies in developing a secure pharmaceutical manufacturing base for augmenting global supply chains.

In her interaction with Goyal, government officials and industry representatives on Monday, Tai pointed out that despite the scope, bilateral trade between India and the US never seemed to live up to its significant potential. “At USTR, we hear frequently from our stakeholders, on issues such as market access restrictions, high tariffs, unpredictable regulatory requirements and restricted digital trade measures. These are the issues where we intend to make progress and they will be on top of my list while I am here,” she said.

Goyal, in his speech, drew attention to the differing levels of development of both nations. “We have been uniquely tasked by our leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden, to strengthen our economic ties and trade based on rules of transparency and fair trade. Of course, I am sure while doing that you will bear in mind the hugely differing levels of prosperity amongst different nations and also work with the shared vision for prosperity of all sections of society and of the people of both our countries,” he said.

Emphasis on participation and collaboration of the private sector in both countries in building stronger linkages in critical sectors, including cyberspace, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology, and supporting resilient and secure global supply chains, the release added.

Published on November 23, 2021

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