The US and India have shared values and interests in promoting global security, stability and economic prosperity through trade investment and connectivity. The cornerstone of US-India partnership remains their trade and commercial linkages. A shared bilateral goal has been the need to realise trade aspirations of USD 500 billion. In 2019, the US goods and service trade in India totaled an estimated of USD 146.1 billion dollars whereas exports were USD 58.6 billion and imports were USD 87.4 billion. Both countries have multiple tracks of engagement through dialogues, forums and working groups, thus enabling frank discussions on the issues at hand. However, there is a lot of potential in the trade relationship between the two countries that hasn’t been realized.

Dr. Rupa Chanda is the Director of Trade, Investment and Innovation at UNESCAP, Bangkok. She is on leave from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore where she has been a Professor of Economics for over 25 years. She has worked as an Economist at the IMF and also briefly served as Head, UNESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia in New Delhi. Her research interests include the WTO, trade in services, regional integration and migration. She is a member of several expert committees like the WHO’s Review Committee on the functioning of the International Health Regulations (2015-16) and the WHO’s Expert Advisory Group, International Recruitment of Health Personnel (2019-20). 

Mark Linscott is a non-resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and a Senior Advisor with The Asia Group, where he works closely with the clients on trade and investment priorities across South Asia. He was the assistant US trade representative (USTR) for South and Central Asian Affairs and was responsible for development of trade policy with the countries comprising South and Central Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He also participated in the bilateral Trade Policy Forum with India and in Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs) with Central Asia, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. He served as the assistant US trade representative for the WTO, represented the US at the G20, OECD and at the US Mission to the WTO in Geneva. He was the lead negotiator for the Uruguay Round Government Procurement Agreement at the Office of WTO and Multilateral Affairs in USTR Washington, and was responsible for preparations for the entry-into-force of the WTO.

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