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India-US discuss "resilient" supply chains during Katherine Tai’s visit

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US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has met Minister for Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal to revive meetings of the Indo-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF), which had become dormant during former US President, Donald Trump's tenure. The last TPF meeting between the two countries took place in 2017.

“Our TPF was languishing for four years,” news agency PTI quoted Goyal as saying.

A joint press statement said that the two ministers underlined the significance of the TPF in forging robust bilateral trade ties and enhancing the bilateral economic relationship to benefit working people in both countries.

Regular engagement under the TPF would help in addressing outstanding bilateral trade concerns and allow the two countries to explore important, emerging trade policy issues, an official statement said.

Also read: WTO needs to reassess the way of conducting its affairs: Goyal

India and the US also acknowledged the importance of creating resilient and secure supply chains. The two democracies would also work with “like-minded partners”, in  developing secure supply chains in critical sectors of trade and technology.

Meanwhile, while the US under Biden has been reluctant in signing any free trade agreement, Tai told the Economic Times that “the US was refashioning its approach to a more worker-centric model."

“US trade policy has become disconnected from people.”  “There's a significant trust gap with workers, citizens. We need to ground our trade policy in the reality of people so that we can build back support to become strong reliable partners for trade,” she said.

For one, the Trump administration removed India from the list of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a special trade treatment for developing countries.

According to Peterson Institute for International Economic (PIIE), Trump imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on $761 million of steel and of 10 per cent on $382 million of aluminium imported from India. “Combined, these tariffs covered roughly 2.3 percent of India’s exports to the United States in 2017,” the PIIE study said.