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Commerce Minister, USTR discuss trade issues, IPR

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2017 Published on June 05, 2014

Nirmala Sitharaman

Agree to meet at G 20 Summit in Australia next month



Minister of State for Commerce (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman and US Trade Representative Michael Froman discussed issues affecting bilateral trade and investment ties on Thursday including India’s intellectual property regime that has strained relations between the two countries.

In a telephonic conversation, the two decided to meet at the G-20 Summit in Australia next month and also hold the next meeting of the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) soon, a Commerce Ministry official told Business Line.

The office of the US Trade Representative stopped short of blacklisting India as a ‘priority foreign country’ in its ‘Special 301’ report on countries with lax intellectual property regimes in April.

The USTR, however, continued to place India on the ‘priority watch’ list and said it will conduct an ‘out of cycle’ review of the country’s IP regime when the new Government is in place.

If blacklisted as a ‘priority foreign country’, the US could impose trade sanctions on India. New Delhi had, however, said that such unilateral sanctions were not compatible with World Trade Organisation rules and could be challenged.

The USTR noted that the TPF hasn’t met for quite some time, though officials on both sides have engaged through video conferencing to prepare for it, the official said.

Notes were exchanged on the two video conferences held on IPR and service issues and two others on agriculture and investment issues that are yet to be scheduled.

The Minister and the USTR also discussed the upcoming visit of the Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler and Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher next month in preparation for the TPF.

Published on June 05, 2014
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