India not ambitious enough to conclude trade pact: US

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Blaming India for not being ambitious enough to conclude Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), the US on Friday said it remains open to continuing dialogue as it is important for both the nations.

“To be frank, we are far apart on number of issues with regard to trade and investment with India. We feel our colleagues in India have not been as ambitious (on concluding BIT) as we want them to be but we remain open,” Deputy Assistant to the US President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Adewale (Wally) Adeyemo said here at a session on India-US Economic Relations.

Adeyemo added that USA knows that India is one of the fastest growing economy in G20 and the US wants to be involved with India going forward.

Last month, US Ambassador to India Richard R Verma had said India and the US are targeting a four-fold jump in bilateral trade to USD 500 billion in the near future.

US bilateral investment to India has grown from a mere USD 8.5 billion in 2005 to over USD 35 billion last year, he had added.

In December last year, the Cabinet had approved the revised model text for the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with a view to enhancing protection of foreign investors in India as well as Indian investments abroad, but taxation matters will remain out of its ambit.

Both India and the US are negotiating BIT since 2008.

The deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics said India needs to do more in terms of ease of doing business and it should make sure that investments norms are easier.

Talking about intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, Adeyemo said IPR is the issue where both countries have great deal of contention.

“I do think there are issues where we can find ways to work together. For example digital issues, with regard to IPR this is the place both have interest in trying to find solutions. Finding places to work together will help us in finding solution to more contentious issues like IPR,” he explained.

Referring to cheap exports of steel from China, Adeyemo who is also Deputy Assistant to the US President noted that China is subsidising steel and they are producing too much steel.

“We want to use global forum like WTO to hold China accountable,”he said.

Talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Adeyemo said economic value of TPP is great and we are re balancing our trade relations towards Asia.

Courtesy: Times of India
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