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India, US Seeking Bilateral Settlement On WTO Disputes: Piyush Goyal

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Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said that India and US are looking to carve out bilateral solutions to the several longstanding World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes between the two countries.

Piyush Goyal made these comments after the conclusion of the 13th India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) with his US counterpart United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai in Washington.

“There was a very robust discussion amongst the officials and today at the ministerial levels at finding solutions to the several WTO disputes that have been going on for several years between US-India. These outstanding issues are areas where both countries have had some wins and some losses,” Mr Goyal said during a press conference in Washington.

The Commerce Minister is on an official visit to New York and Washington DC from January 9-11 to participate in India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF). His visit included delegation-level talks and a one-to-one meeting with USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai.

Addressing the press briefing here, Mr Goyal said that both countries have directed their officials to engage “very aggressively” over the next two or three months to find a bilateral settlement of the WTO issues, demonstrating the trust between the two countries

“We have directed our officials to engage very aggressively over the next two or three months to see if we can find a bilateral settlement of the WTO issues demonstrating the trust between the two countries and we hope for some satisfactory outcomes,” he added.

Since both countries relaunched the Trade Policy Forum in a new form with renewed vigor in November 2021, India-US have seen this becoming a very robust and outcome-oriented discussion on several issues of mutual interest, Mr Goyal said.

“The Trade Policy Forum truly is one platform where we have free and frank discussions on a plethora of issues. Some predefined on the table and many which emerged from the discussions,” he said.

“This kind of friendly atmosphere in which India and the US can discuss issues of mutual interest and at times issues that cause concern on either side of countries — discuss in an open atmosphere in a very transparent manner and that the beauty of Trade Policy Forum,” he added.

In an earlier release, Commerce Ministry said both India and USA are natural partners and have trade complementarities, long-standing strategic and economic relationships, people to people contact, and both are vibrant democracies too.

The two countries are also collaborating under the QUAD, I2U2 (India-Israel/ UAE-USA) and IPEF (Indo-Pacific Economic Framework).

Regular exchanges at the leadership-level have been an integral element of the expanding bilateral engagement. The outcomes emerging from these visits have been instrumental in further strengthening the multifaceted ties between the two countries.

The 12th TPF Ministerial meeting was held on November 23, 2021, after a gap of four years in New Delhi. Working groups were re-activated after the last ministerial. TPF is a platform for continuous engagement between two countries in the area of trade and to further the trade and investment relations between the two countries.

Both countries are looking forward to the meeting and confident of making progress on the trade issues. The TPF is chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister from the Indian side and USTR from the US side.

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