Industry And Cluster | News & Insights

Feasibility Study Must for Trade Pact.

Published: February 26, 2020

CII-USIBC lists intervention in 13 areas to boost bilateral trade.

India and the US should launch a study to determine the feasibility of a trade agreement and the cost-benefit analysis of such a pact, say industry chambers and lobby groups.

“An FTA (free trade agreement) between India and US would have wide ranging ramifications for the domestic industries, and a clear cost benefit analysis would be needed to gauge its total impact,” said Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US India Business Council (USIBC) in a report on $500 Billion Roadmap for bilateral trade and business.

As per the report, since country specific tariff exclusions are difficult, the only way to avoid product/sector specific market access skirmishes is by negotiating a broad trade agreement.

“A comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement would reduce tariffs which could lead to an FTA further down the road,” the two said in the report and emphasised a comprehensive consultation process with industry, to examine all facets to “determine the best course of action regarding a formal trade agreement”.

The report has listed out interventions in 13 specific areas which if resolved, will provide a significant thrust to trade between the two countries by turning challenges into opportunities. The interventions range from reinstating Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits by the US for India, bringing down import duties on high end motorcycles to 0%, arriving at a consensus on a pricing mechanism for medical devices, modifications in India’s e-commerce policy, removing high tariffs on steel and aluminium imports by the US, fostering greater cooperation in strengthening partnership in defence and aerospace among others.

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