News: After a long break of two years, India is now set to export Mangoes to the USA from January to February 2022, and later export Pomegranate arils from April 2022. Read The News Here.
Let’s Understand In Simple Language:
Due to the Covid 19 outbreak and lockdown situation in the whole world for over 2 years, the phytosanitary inspectors of American agencies were not able to visit India to certify the products. However, now after two years from January onwards, the export of mangoes and pomegranates will begin. On the other hand, the United States will start exporting Alfalfa hay for animal feed and cherries to India in April 2022.
The Ministry of Commerce stated that the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare (DAC&FW) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has signed a framework agreement to address the 2 Vs 2 Agri market access challenges. This framework is said to be in line with the 12th India-US trade policy forum meeting which was held in November 2021. According to the India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting that took place last year, a consensus was reached to improve market access for Indian mangoes and pomegranates in the USA.
Not only this but the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) from the Indian side also expressed its willingness to give market access for pork from the US.
This November 2021, meeting (12th ministerial-level meeting of the India-US Trade Policy Forum) was held between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
India-US Trade Policy Forum:
The U.S-India Trade Policy Forum (also known as the Trade Policy Forum) was held in November 2021 after a long gap of four years. It was the 12th such high-level meeting co-chaired by the Indian Commerce and Industry, and U.S. Trade Representative. An agreement was reached to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries and also exchanged their views on ‘potential targeted tariff reductions’.
- Mutual market access: facilitate U.S. market access for mangoes, grapes, and pomegranates, pomegranate arils from India, and ensure access to the Indian market to cherries, pork/pork products and alfalfa hay for animal feed from the United States.
- Social Security Totalization Agreement in the interest of workers from both sides: This would allow workers from both countries to move their retirement savings. Lack of Totalisation Agreement particularly affects Indian IT workers in the U.S. who lose billions of dollars in statutory U.S. social security contributions that they cannot take back home.
- Collaboration on Multilateral forums: The forum discussed collaboration in various multilateral trade bodies including the WTO and the G20.This is decided to be done to find mutually agreed solutions on outstanding WTO disputes between the two countries.
- Ethanol supply: U.S. indicated an interest in supplying ethanol to India for its goal of 20% ethanol blending with petrol by 2025.
- Medical: The forum decided to partner with allies in developing a secure pharmaceutical manufacturing base and de-risk global supply chains in such critical sectors as health.
- Visa policy: The India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum decided to continue engaging on visa issues to facilitate the movement of professionals, skilled workers, experts, and scientific personnel.
- Semiconductors & supply chain disruptions: Emphasizing on participation and collaboration of the private sector in both countries in building stronger linkages in critical sectors (including cyberspace, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology), the leaders are of the view of supporting resilient and secure global supply chains.
- Climate Change: Both countries exchanged views on approaches to increase the utilization of renewable energy to achieve net-zero emissions, as agreed in the India – US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership.
- Restoration of GSP: India has asked the United States to reinstate its GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits.
- Services Front: On the services front, the Forum explored how legal, nursing and accounting services might help to enable trade and investment growth, as well as how to collaborate on electronic payment services and the digital economy.
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Questions related to the topic:
Q. What is the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)?
- The concept of granting developing countries preferential tariff rates in industrialised countries’ marketplaces was initially suggested in 1964 at the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conference.
- The GSP was established in 1971 after being adopted at UNCTAD in New Delhi in 1968.
- Australia, Belarus, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States of America are currently the 13 countries that grant GSP preferences.
- GSP is the largest and oldest trade preferential programme in the United States. GSP, which was established by the Trade Act of 1974, encourages economic growth by removing taxes on hundreds of products imported from one of 120 designated beneficiary nations and territories.
Q. What is the “Special 301” Priority Watch List?
- The US Trade Representative’s (USTR) Office publishes its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners’ intellectual property rights protection, as well as the results of its Notorious Markets List.
- According to the 2018 report, India has been placed on the ‘Priority Watch List’ due to issues with India’s intellectual property framework.
Q. Recently, a ‘Trade Policy Forum’ was held. The forum is a trade aspects discussion platform between:
a.) Indo- Germany
d.) Indo- USA
Q. “The INDO-US has many areas of convergences than areas of divergences”. Kindly elaborate the statement in light of the recently held Trade Policy Forum between India and the USA.
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