BIT deal with US can help India gain APEC membership

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The Hindu | 29 August 2016

BIT deal with US can help India gain APEC membership

by Nayanima Basu

American industry is keen that India and the US conclude their much-awaited Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which it believes will be instrumental in achieving the target of $500-billion bilateral trade, while strengthening India’s chances of membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc.

“Liberalising trade is good for both countries, which is why USIBC encourages India’s steps towards trade liberalisation, including supporting its interest in APEC ... and resuming negotiations on a US-India Bilateral Investment Treaty,” John Chambers, Chairman, US-India Business Council, and Executive Chairman, Cisco Systems, told BusinessLine in an interview.

He said the USIBC has asked both governments to “redouble” their efforts to conclude the BIT talks, the success of which is crucial to get big investments from the US.

The US has been pushing India to sign a “high-standard” BIT since 2008. Talks got a fresh lease of life when both US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to conclude the negotiations during their bilateral meeting in January 2015.

Meanwhile, the US and India have also been engaged in a series of disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO) wherein both have called for arbitration panels in cases related to poultry and steel imports.

Chambers, however, said these cases would not impact bilateral economic ties.

source: The Hindu