The US has said that India’s general and consistent trend of trade-restrictive policies has inhibited the potential of the bilateral trade relationship.
In its trade agenda for 2021, Washington said that the recent Indian emphasis on import substitution through the Make in India campaign has “epitomized the challenges” facing the bilateral trade relationship though India’s large market and economic growth make it “an essential market” for many American exporters.
“While India’s large market, economic growth, and progress towards development make it an essential market for many US exporters, a general and consistent trend of trade-restrictive policies have inhibited the potential of the bilateral trade relationship,” the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in its annual report and trade agenda for 2021.
The report comes at a time when India has said that the two sides will work on a greater engagement on the trade front instead of small issues.
As per the report, during 2020, the US continued its engagement with India to try to resolve “longstanding market access impediments” affecting its exporters.
Effective June 5, 2019, the US terminated India’s eligibility under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme, following which the two sides “resumed intensive work in the fall of 2019 aimed at producing a package of meaningful market access outcomes, and this engagement continued throughout 2020”.
Washington said its objectives in this negotiation included the resolution of various non-tariff barriers, targeted reduction of certain Indian tariffs, and other market access improvements.
“The United States also engaged with India on an ongoing basis throughout 2020 in response to specific concerns affecting the full range of pressing bilateral trade issues, including intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement, policy development affecting electronic commerce and digital trade, and market access for agricultural and non-agricultural goods and services,” USTR said.
India’s barriers to US manufactured goods exports, including medical devices and high-technology products were also taken up last year, according to the report.
On the services front, New Delhi was Washington’s sixth largest supplier with exports worth $29.7 billion in 2019.
Source : Times of India