The India-US trade policy forum (TPF) meet, which was scheduled on November 8 in Washington, has been deferred, sources said.
According to sources, local elections in both the countries could be the reason for the deferment of the meeting.
They added that the dialogue between the countries at trade ministers’ level is happening at different forums such as at the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and G-20.
The TPF meeting next month was scheduled to be attended by Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
At Los Angeles in September, Goyal had held a bilateral meeting with the US Trade Representative on ways to boost trade and investment ties.
On November 8, there are mid-term elections in the US. In India, assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be held on November 12 and the election commission is expected to announce dates for Gujarat elections soon.
The last meeting of the TPF was held in November last year here, after a gap of four years. In that meeting, it was decided by both sides to reconvene the TPF at the ministerial level before the end of 2022.
The TPF is a premier forum to resolve trade and investment issues between India and the US. It has five focus groups: Agriculture, Investment, Innovation and Creativity (intellectual property rights), Services, and Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers.
In the last year’s meeting, India had asked for restoration of GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) benefits to Indian exporters on which the US side has stated that this could be considered.
To further promote trade, the two ministers had expressed an intent to continue to work together on resolving outstanding trade issues as some of these require additional engagement in order to reach convergence in the near future.
On visa issues, India and the US had decided to continue their engagement.
It is a long-pending demand of India for early conclusion of the totalisation agreement or Social Security Agreement with the US. It aims to protect the interests of professionals of Indian-origin who contribute more than USD 1 billion each year to the US social security. Under this pact, professionals of both the countries would be exempted from social security taxes when they go to work for a short period in the other country.
The bilateral trade between the countries has increased to USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22 as against USD 80.5 billion in 2020-21. India received USD 55.61 billion foreign direct investment from the US during April 2000 and June 2022.