Ratify WTO trade facilitation pact soon, US envoy to India

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018

bl11_richard verma   -  The Hindu

The US on Thursday urged India to ratify the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for seamless and faster movement of goods.

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said: “We are looking forward to India's ratification (of TFA) ... In the modern business environment, traders need fast and predictable delivery of goods.”

He was speaking at an event organised by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

India had signed the TFA in November 2014, which was agreed upon during the ninth WTO ministerial meet in Bali, Indonesia that was held in December 2013.

Recently, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia had said India will be ratifying the TFA at the “earliest” as the consultations with all stakeholders were over.

TFA stipulates easier customs procedures leading to reduction in red-tape leading to seamless movement of goods at international borders. On the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), a mega trade pact led by US, impacting the Indian economy, Verma said it only seeks to “augment” US engagement with the WTO.

He added that the TPP will lower trade barriers for 40 per cent of the world economy. It will also set the highest labour standards, he said.

He added that the TPP will rather benefit all developing countries, including India. On TPP countering the RCEP, Verma said both the trade pacts are not going to be counter-productive to each other.

“I look at TPP to be a model of what is possible but not to crush the trading system of other countries,” he said.

Verma, who was speaking on ‘Business Opportunities in US’, said the flow of investments from America to India continues to remain below its potential.

Published on February 11, 2016

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