[Ip-health] The Hindu: US ‘cautiously optimistic’ about ties with India

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Nov 25 03:13:47 PST 2014


<SNIP>

Mr. Froman said the “so-called Peace Clause,” proposed in the recently
concluded Indo-U.S. World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement, would depend
on whether India’s foodgrain buffer programme met the conditions set in
Bali.

<SNIP>

Mr. Froman said enforcing a world-class intellectual property rights regime
is in India’s interests. He said dealing directly with piracy,
counterfeiting and compulsory licensing will be critical if India is to
play a leadership role in the knowledge economy and becoming “Digital
India.”



http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tfa-linked-to-meeting-bali-conditions-us-official/article6630811.ece?utm

TFA linked to meeting Bali conditions: U.S. official

Visiting U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said here on Monday that
despite positive developments such as the easing of the foreign direct
investment cap in the Defence sector, the U.S. remained “cautiously
optimistic” about relations with India as the Modi government had raised
tariffs.

Mr. Froman said the “so-called Peace Clause,” proposed in the recently
concluded Indo-U.S. World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement, would depend
on whether India’s foodgrain buffer programme met the conditions set in
Bali.

The WTO’s Bali package included onerous conditions on making public details
of food security programmes, which India has so far not complied with.

“We have already seen some positive signs: projects approved, foreign
equity caps in key sectors such as defence and railways lifted. But we have
also seen certain tariffs increased, and there is a long way to go on
reform. So we are optimistic, but we are cautiously optimistic,” Mr. Froman
said. He was addressing businessmen at a Federation of India Chamber of
Commerce and Industry event.

On the WTO agreement, Mr. Froman said: “As part of the deal to allow the
Trade Facilitation Agreement to be fully implemented, we agreed to
intensify efforts to find a permanent solution to the food stockpiling
issue and eliminate any ambiguity in the Bali package about the
availability of the ‘so-called Peace Clause’ in the meantime, provided that
food stockpiling programmes meet the conditions set in Bali.”

The breakthrough at the WTO, said Mr. Froman, would not have been possible
without the personal engagement of President Barack Obama and Prime
Minister Narendra Modi.

He said the two leaders gave the partnership a mantra: “Chalein Saath
Saath: Forward Together We Go.”

*Indo-U.S. Trade Policy Forum revived*

Mr. Froman will meet Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on
Tuesday for the first Trade Policy Forum between the two countries in more
than four years.

“So it’s another historic moment in what has been an important year for
relations between the United States and India,” Mr. Froman said.

Having heard Prime Minister Modi speak eloquently of his “Make in India,”
“Digital India,” and “Smart Cities” initiatives, increasing investment in
India will be critical as well, Mr. Froman said. “Rigid local content
requirements are likely to spawn less competitive industries, increase
costs to producers and consumers and lower India’s economic welfare.”

Mr. Froman said enforcing a world-class intellectual property rights regime
is in India’s interests. He said dealing directly with piracy,
counterfeiting and compulsory licensing will be critical if India is to
play a leadership role in the knowledge economy and becoming “Digital
India.”

“We have great interest in the ongoing review of India’s Intellectual
Property Rights Policy,” said the U.S.T.R.

“Ultimately, the most important factor determining the future evolution of
our bilateral economic relationship is the quality of the business
environment based on transparency, consistency, predictability,” said Mr.
Froman.



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