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U.S. Working to Lower Standards-Related Barriers to Trade with India

Monday, December 14, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Administration is looking for public input by Feb. 12, 2016, to help identify industry sectors where the U.S. and India should focus their initial efforts to lower standards-related trade barriers.

The two sides plan to pursue cooperative dialogues wherein the private sector will produce concrete recommendations on breaking down trade barriers related to standards, regulatory and conformity assessment practices. The public input now being requested will be used to identify those sectors where cooperative work will yield the most benefits for bilateral trade from a U.S. perspective.

Specific sectors will be selected for inclusion in these dialogues based on several factors, and submissions must therefore include the following information.

- a description of the main standards-related barrier(s) affecting U.S.-India trade in the sector (e.g., lack of transparency in developing standards and/or regulations, officials applying different standards or technical regulations to products or services in the sector, testing or other requirements that are difficult to meet, and/or requirements being applied only when products or services in the sector are imported from the other’s market)

- whether the areas involved are subject to regulatory discretion or have limited potential for adjustment due to legislated mandates

- the relative estimated trade impact of eliminating the identified barriers and data on bilateral trade in the sector for at least three years

- specific private-sector leaders from the U.S. and India that have mutually agreed to coordinate and lead a cooperative dialogue to develop recommendations

- current and previous efforts to address standards-related barriers to bilateral trade in the sector, including under other government-to-government initiatives

- the U.S. and Indian government authorities, particularly regulators, whose actions impact the sector and who would need to be involved in implementing the recommendations (the two sides will confirm that their respective relevant regulators support targeted work in the sector before finalizing the selection of priority sectors)

- information to help evaluate prospects for growth in bilateral trade in the sector if this work is undertaken

Work in the selected priority sectors is expected to begin as early as possible in 2016 and preliminary recommendations should be reported at the next meeting of the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which is slated for mid-2016 in India. The ITA notes that this initiative may be expanded in the future if the initial dialogues are successful.

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