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Washington: Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday emphasised better market access, convenience of doing business, and a broader footprint for trade and investment between the two nations. He said India has bigger objectives in doing trade with the US than winning a free trade agreement.

After calling the 13th gathering of the US-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in Washington with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Goyal made these statements.

“In terms of our commerce with the US, we are considering much, much higher objectives. Of course, we are negotiating free trade agreements, and we have already done so with Australia and the United Arab Emirates. They are actively communicating with the UK, Canada, Israel, and the EU “During a news briefing in Washington, Goyal added.

As a matter of political policy, the US is not currently considering any free trade agreements with any nations, according to the Union Commerce Minister. “Thus, in my opinion, that is not an option. So instead of doing that, we are concentrating on expanding market access. The ease of doing business between the two nations is our primary concern “Added he.

Goyal stated that India is considering trade, investment, and business on a bilateral basis in a much bigger footprint, and that modest military transactions are no more relevant in the modern world.

The minister responded to a question about the potential restoration of India’s GSP status, which the Trump administration had revoked, by saying, “I don’t think in terms of GSP I have heard any significant clamour from Indian industry to focus our energies on the GSP issue I have resumed today with my counterparts.”

The GSP issue, according to Goyal, was not a top priority, and trade between the two nations is still growing quickly. “I have officially requested that the GSP be reinstated as per our request. But I can guarantee you that trade between the two nations is still growing quickly “Added he.

The crucial GSP trade program’s classification of India as a beneficiary developing country was discontinued in March 2019 by the then-US President Donald Trump.

The discussion between Goyal and US Trade Representative Tai gave the two ministers the chance to assess the work that has been done under the TPF’s working groups since the Forum’s relaunch in November 2021 and to offer advice on the top priorities to pursue as part of the TPF’s 2023 work programme.

The ministers released a Joint Statement at the end of the meeting that reflected the outcomes of the conversation.

The US Commerce Department issued a statement stating that Ambassador Tai “stressed in her remarks during the TPF meeting that the TPF is directly contributing to the strength of U.S.-India bilateral ties by providing a structure for constructive dialogue on trade policy topics.”

She emphasised the enormous development potential between our economies as well as the equally important potential to make sure that bilateral commerce benefits the working people in both countries.

She also emphasised her commitment and that of US Vice President Joe Biden to ensuring that bilateral trade discussions directly assist the US and India in addressing common concerns in the global economy.

The formation of a new TPF Working Group on Resilient Trade was also emphasised by Ambassador Tai.

She thanked Minister Goyal and his coworkers for their efforts to the TPF in general and to the ministerial meeting of today in particular.

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