Trade Facilitation, SPS Measures, Food Safety Among Topics of Discussion with Nepal
Customs and trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, food safety, labeling requirements, standards and conformity assessment, and labor were among the topics of discussion at the third meeting of the U.S.-Nepal Trade and Investment Framework Council held April 20 in Kathmandu, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The talks were held under the bilateral trade and investment framework agreement that took effect in April 2011 with the goal of expanding two-way trade (which totaled just $129 million in 2016), investment, and technical cooperation.
Nepal also expressed interest in expanding the trade preference program the U.S. created for that country under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. This program currently provides duty-free treatment through Dec. 31, 2025, for imports of products covered by 77 Harmonized Tariff Schedule lines, including handicrafts, shawls, and travel goods.
According to USTR, the U.S. welcomed Nepal’s National Intellectual Property Rights Policy and stated its intention to support the enhancement of Nepal’s capacity in the field of IPR administration. The U.S. also praised Nepal’s efforts to revise its foreign investment legislation and noted the initiatives taken to ease certain investment restrictions in financial services and create a more business-friendly environment.