India Seeks Participation In US Govt Procurement: Official

The issue came up for discussion during the 14th TPF meeting here on Friday

India wants the US to allow its domestic companies to participate in the American government procurement as it would help in boosting exports, a senior official said on Saturday.

To participate, India has asked the US to designate it as a TAA (Trade Agreement Act) compliant country.

The issue came up for discussion during the 14th TPF meeting on Friday. It was co-chaired by the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

The official said the big takeaways for India in the TPF meet were good progress on the proposed resumption of export benefits to certain Indian goods under the USA's GSP (generalised system of preferences) programme; initiation of formal discussions on designating India a TAA-compliant nation; and treaty status for visas.

"If you are part of the TAA, you are eligible to participate in the government procurement system of the US. We have started discussions. Public procurement by the US is quite huge. So, we want to find entry into that public procurement system," the official said.

If India were treated as a TAA-compliant nation, it would facilitate the movement of goods in their public procurement.

"So, that will add and facilitate our exports," the official said, adding, however, India will also have to give access to US firms for the same.

"It is reciprocal. India will also have to give them (US) concessions. That is what we are doing with the UK also. We have asked the US side to formulate terms of reference. They will also evaluate our procurement system," the official said.

India will provide protection to its MSMEs and sectors under the PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme from these procurement systems. On GSP resumption, another government official said the US side has been "very very" positive, and they have to go to the US Congress.

"The US Congress will determine what will be the terms of conditions on which they will pass it. So, I think they are looking into that issue," the official added.

New Delhi is keen on the restoration of its beneficiary status under the US GSP programme.

The previous Trump administration in the US revoked the GSP from India in 2019. The GSP allows eligible developing countries to export duty-free goods to the US.

About 1,900 Indian products from various sectors like chemicals and engineering were getting duty-free access to the US market under the GSP, introduced in 1976.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Business & Money