Obama effect: India, US vow to iron out differences
22 Sep 2010
India and the US have pledged to work together to boost trade ties while redoubling efforts to resolve several trade and economic issues, including visa and outsourcing issues, before President Barack Obama's November visit.
In a joint statement after the conclusion of the seventh Indo-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meeting in Washington on Tuesday, US trade representative Ron Kirk and his co-chairman commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma asked their officials to redouble their efforts towards addressing unresolved issues in an expeditious manner.
''Recognising that more can and should be done to strengthen our bilateral trade and investment relationship, we instructed our Focus Group leads and other staff to redouble their efforts, particularly in the coming weeks before President Obama's visit to India, to take concrete steps towards resolving several issues of concern and to keep senior officials regularly informed of the results of those efforts,'' the joint statement said. However, it did not identify the concerns of either side.
But Sharma told reporters that India had articulated its concerns about the hike in US H1-B and L visa fees for professionals and the Ohio state ban on outsourcing of government contracts, saying the "regressive measure had created an avoidable feeling of negativity in the service sector".
He also told his interlocutors that at a time "when the global economy is still reeling from the aftershocks of the economic crisis and coming out of the recession any inward looking step of protectionist measure would slow down the pace of recovery and deepen the recession."
The US "is the world leader and the largest economy and therefore there are expectations from them", Sharma said, and hoped for early resolution of differences.