Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal (File Photo)
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal (File Photo)

Piyush Goyal and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross discuss possibilities of FTA

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2020 20:46 IST

New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Thursday discussed the possibilities of a Free trade agreement (FTA).
The two leaders, in a telephonic conversation, discussed the COVID-19 situation in both the countries and appreciated the cooperation between India and the US in handling the pandemic.
"The two leaders also conversed on the ongoing India-USA trade discussions and appreciated the substantial progress made by both sides on most of the outstanding issues. There was a desire expressed to conclude this limited trade package and recognising the complementarities of the India-USA bilateral trade, discussed the possibility of an FTA," an official statement read.
In response to Goyal's concern on the US keeping certain Indian products (24 items) under TVPRA (Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorisation Act) list and designating them as 'child labour sectors'; thereby denying them the opportunity to participate in supply contracts of the US government agencies, Secretary Ross offered to set up a meeting between the labour department officials of both sides.
The Commerce and Industry Ministry further read, "Minister Goyal also discussed the pending 'US-India Social Security Totalisation Agreement', which had been also discussed during the visit of President Donald Trump to India in February 2020. While appreciating India's concern, Ross said that the statutory requirements of the US have to be fulfilled by India in this regard. He offered to arrange a meeting between US Social Security Administrator and concerned Indian officials to discuss and find a possible solution."
"Minister Goyal also raised a concern on 'U.S. ban on import of wild catch shrimp from India' on the premise that fishing practices followed in India were non-compliant with US regulations to protect sea turtles. He mentioned the various conservation measures taken by Indian maritime states in protecting the sea turtles. Secretary Ross appreciated India's concerns and agreed to facilitate a discussion between the officials of U.S state department and Office of Marine Conservation with the Indian Department of Fisheries and Ministry of Forest and Environment, in this regard," the Commerce and Industry Ministry added. (ANI)

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