Enhancing India-US Trade Relations: Key Agendas Discussed in Trade Policy Forum Meeting          

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January 13, 2024

Enhancing India-US Trade Relations: Key Agendas Discussed in Trade Policy Forum Meeting          


  • The India-US trade policy forum meeting, commencing on January 12, addresses pivotal trade issues, including the restoration of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and concerns over India’s laptop import monitoring system. As the largest economy where India exports more than it imports, the US holds significant importance in India’s trade dynamics. This meeting assumes heightened importance against the backdrop of global economic shifts and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Crucial Aspects Discussed:

Significance of the Trade Policy Forum Meeting:

  • The US stands as India’s largest trade partner, contributing substantially to India’s export earnings. Amidst the complexities of the Russia-Ukraine war, India’s dependence on the US for export demand and its involvement in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) underscore the need for constructive dialogue to bolster trade ties.

Restoration of GSP Benefits:

  • India’s persistent call for the reinstatement of GSP benefits, withdrawn in 2019, remains a critical agenda. Despite expectations for a reversal of Trump-era measures under the Biden administration, GSP restoration has yet to materialize. The restoration of these benefits is imperative for Indian exporters, considering the substantial trade volume impacted by the withdrawal.

Concerns Over Laptop Import Monitoring System:

  • The US has raised objections to India’s proposed laptop import monitoring system, despite assurances that it won’t impose restrictions on laptop imports. This non-tariff measure will likely be a point of discussion, with India emphasizing its aim to ensure IT products come from “trusted geographies.”

Initiatives to Boost Service Trade:

Liberal Visa Regime:

  • To enhance service trade, India is seeking a more liberal visa regime. Despite the positive trend in India’s services exports, concerns over visa delays during the pandemic, a politically sensitive issue in the US, persist. The outcome of these discussions will significantly impact the service sector and current account dynamics.

Totalisation Agreement:

  • India’s longstanding demand for a totalisation agreement to provide social security to Indian professionals in the US is reiterated. This agreement aims to eliminate dual social security deductions and particularly benefits the Indian IT sector workforce. India has furnished required data, marking a crucial step towards addressing this concern.


  • The trade policy forum meeting between India and the US holds immense significance in navigating the complexities of the global economic landscape. From restoring GSP benefits to addressing concerns over non-tariff measures, the discussions encompass a spectrum of issues crucial for fostering robust bilateral trade relations. The outcomes of these deliberations will not only shape the immediate trade dynamics but also influence India’s positioning in the evolving global economic scenario.

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Enhancing India-US Trade Relations: Key Agendas Discussed in Trade Policy Forum Meeting | Vaid ICS Institute