By Reena Bhardwaj
Los Angeles [US], September 9 (ANI): A top official on Friday said that India stands for its independent trade policy and added that before going ahead with joining the trade pillar of IPEF New Delhi will observe the pros and cons of the binding commitments.
Commenting on India not joining the IPEF trade pillar, a top official told ANI, "There are some binding commitments that have been laid out by the United States and India is being cautious" the official added, "India stands on its own feet, we have our own independent policy," the official asserted.
"We will be observing the pros and cons of the binding commitments and then take a call when the details of binding commitments are shared with us in the months ahead."
Earlier today, at the framework's first in-person ministerial summit in Los Angeles, US trade representative Katherine Tai confirmed that India will not be joining the trade pillar, one of the four pillars of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
"India is not now in the trade pillar of IPEF, Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal and I have been talking a lot. We have our bilateral structure the Trade Policy Forum, which should be meeting by the end of this year again and we covered the same issues in that bilateral channel and minister we are very close touch," Tai said.
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday said that a robust Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) is being proposed to be presented soon in Parliament, and India will take its decisions on different aspects based on the national interest.
Goyal said that India is a big provider of technology services to US companies and a robust framework is being proposed to be presented to Parliament soon. "India is looking to have contemporary and modern laws in the digital world while maintaining high levels of data privacy," he added.
He said that within the framework, "we can begin engaging among member countries on different areas of mutual interest. India will take its decisions on different aspects of the IPEF framework based on our national interest."
"We had a useful engagement among member countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. Officials have worked to prepare the ground for useful interactions between ministers. By tomorrow we hope to create a robust framework," Goyal said.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal is on a six-day visit to San Francisco and Los Angeles to attend the first Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) ministerial meeting. Goyal met US Trade Representative Katherine Tai ahead of the meeting.
"I've also had the opportunity to have bilateral discussions with USTR Ambassador Tai and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Both were very excited about the good work happening between India and US," Goyal said.
"They were extremely favourable to expanding ties in trade and investments including hi-tech areas. They were also wishing to further resilient supply chains between India and US," he added.
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Thursday said that Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) presented an opportunity to deepen the partnerships with member countries and will also address the challenges collectively.
She said that the IPEF also allows working together to build a platform to address future challenges and bring sustainable and equitable growth to the Indo-Pacific region. The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) was launched jointly by the USA and other partner countries of the Indo-Pacific region on May 23, 2022, in Tokyo.
India joined the IPEF and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the launch event along with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and other leaders from partner countries. Previously, virtual Ministerial Meetings were held immediately after the launch on May 23 and thereafter from July 26-27, 2022.
India is committed to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region and would work towards deepening economic cooperation among partners for the growth and prosperity of the region. The framework is inclusive and allows flexibility to partner countries to associate with pillars based on their respective priorities, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
IPEF, a group of 13 countries, is a multilateral economic framework. In recent times, India is seen as focusing on bilateral free trade agreements instead of multilateral ones. (ANI)