Weekly Current Affairs

Notice

  • Market access issues on goods and services as well as Intellectual Property Rights policy-related matters are expected to figure in the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meetings.
  • Strong bilateral commercial ties between the U.S. and India are reflected by the increased bilateral trade in goods and services of $109 billion and the highest-ever FDI inflows in 2015-16.
  • Both had set goal to take two-way trade to $500 billion in years ahead.
  • India wanted the U.S. to look into the delay in reaching an agreement on totalisation (or a social security pact) and had raised concerns regarding H1B and L1 visa hikes.
  • According to India, the absence of a totalisation pact is imposing a burden on the Indian software sector (who send professionals to the U.S. on projects) as they have to shell out over $1 billion per year to the U.S. Government towards social security, with no benefit or prospect of refund.
  • Leading U.S. companies had said they continued to fear the retrospective aspects of India’s taxation regime despite the government’s assurances.
  • They had also raised concerns on protection of IPR in India as well as concerns over inefficiencies in infrastructure and commerce in India.
  • The U.S. government had red-flagged investor concerns about India’s “high” tariff walls, localisation requirements as well as other “trade barriers” created by standards on testing, certification, and registration.