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Weekly Trade Spotlight: U.S.-India Trade Relations

This week, Ambassador Kirk is meeting with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma to discuss U.S.-India trade relations.'s weekly trade spotlight is focusing on U.S.-India trade relations.

The premier dialogue for key U.S.-India trade and investment issues is the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF), established in 2005. In the TPF, USTR is working to make progress in a number of areas to strengthen our trade and investment relationship with India, including strengthening copyright and patent protections, eliminating obstacles to foreign direct investment, improving agricultural and industrial standards, and lowering other impediments to U.S. exports of goods and services to India. Work under the TPF occurs throughout the year and culminates in an annual ministerial session, which last took place in September 2010 in Washington, D.C.

As USTR works to make the most of the TPF and shape our economic relationship with India, we are also working to make sure we hear from key experts, which is why the United States and India reconstituted the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) last year. The new PSAG includes some of our countries’ top private sector voices, who together can exchange views and develop recommendations on actions each government might take to facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

USTR’s work with India is focused on increasing opportunities for American producers to connect with Indian consumers and support jobs here at home. And we are seeing results. For example, until March of this year, the tariff on California-grown pistachios exported to India was an exorbitant 30 percent. Due to the work of USTR on behalf of American pistachio growers, India agreed to reduce the tariff to 10 percent. The lowering of this tariff resulted in cheaper pistachios for Indian consumers, a larger market opportunity for American farmers, and increased support of American jobs both on and off the farm.

India is a vital trading partner for the United States, with two-way goods trade in 2010 totaling more than $48 billion. In 2010, U.S. exports to India increased by almost 17percent , with top exports including precious stones, machinery, aircraft, and fertilizers.