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India Trade Policy Forum Postponed as Lawmakers Call for Expedited Investment Treaty Talks

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. has postponed a meeting of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum that had been scheduled for this week in India. An announcement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative explains that more time is needed to develop the agenda for this meeting and complete related activities. The two sides anticipate holding the meeting later this year.

Separately, eight senators wrote to President Obama last month commending him for resuming negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty with India and asking him to expedite those talks. The senators said a BIT “would provide important protections to U.S. investors from arbitrary, discriminatory or confiscatory measures, and would be enforceable by independent international arbitration.” It could also “help facilitate additional investment in infrastructure and other priorities in India where investment is badly needed” and “provide protections to Indian companies as they expand investments in the U.S.” The letter notes that India has already completed investment agreements with 80 countries, including all major European nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan and South Korea, and that it is “imperative” for the U.S. to quickly negotiate and conclude its own BIT “to overcome the competitive disadvantage already facing American companies in the Indian marketplace.”

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