India-US Trade Policy Forum to meet today

Ahead of American President Barack Obama’s visit to India in January, Washington is set to step up pressure on New Delhi to address US business community’s concerns over India’s Intellectual Property Rights regime and rigid local content requirement.

American Trade Representative Michael Froman is likely to take up US companies’ long-pending complaint about India’s “discriminatory trade practices”, when he will meet his counterpart Minister of State (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.

“It is in India’s interests to have and to enforce a world-class intellectual property rights regime,” Froman said at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries on Monday. “Patents, copyright, trade secrets, piracy, counterfeiting, compulsory licensing - these are challenging issues. But dealing with them directly is critical if India is to play a leadership role in the knowledge economy, including on its way to becoming Digital India.”

Froman and Sitharaman will co-chair the India-US Trade Policy Forum on Tuesday.
During Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 30, India and the US agreed to set up a “High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights”.
 
Froman said that the working group would provide India and the US a platform to address issues of interest to both countries. “Copyright enforcement is a top priority of the entertainment industries in Hollywood and in Bollywood. Incentivising life-saving innovations and promoting affordable access to healthcare and safe medicine will benefit all Indians and Americans,” said the US Trade Representative.

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