India and the United States on Thursday “expressed their intent” to resolve “outstanding trade issues”.
Consultations in this regard were held in Washington DC where the Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met the U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tai for the 13 th India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum (TPF).
“The Ministers welcomed the recent intensification of work among their officials aimed at finding mutually-agreed solutions on outstanding WTO disputes between the two countries,” informed a Joint Statement issued on Thursday. “They further directed officials to continue this engagement with the view of arriving at satisfactory outcomes in the coming months.”
In this regard, the United States “appreciated India’s initial public consultation on the draft Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Act and India noted that comments and suggestions on the draft bill are being examined as per standard procedures for introduction in the parliament.”
The two sides also held extensive discussion on the IP (intellectual property) regime and appreciated the sustained work on this front under the Trade Policy Forum’s IP Working Group. “The United States welcomed India’s ongoing domestic consultations regarding the administration of its IP regime, including on the treatment of business confidential information related to working of patents, procedures for patent application oppositions and streamlining of trademark infringement investigations,” accordig to the Joint Statement.
Both sides agreed to engage on the copyrights provisions in view of prevailing “commitments” as per the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty and World Intellectual Property Organisation Performance and Phonogram Treaty. The Indian team emphasised on restoration of the beneficiary status under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences program. “The United States noted that this could be considered, as warranted, in relation to the eligibility criteria determined by the U.S. Congress,” informed the Joint Statement.
The two teams also exchanged opinions on “potential targeted tariff reductions.