USTR admires India’s commitment but continues to keep a check

USTR admires India’s commitment but continues to keep a checkOn December 12, 2014, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) issued a statement concluding the Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of India acknowledging the steps taken by Indian Government on the IP front.

However the USTR stated that it would keep reviewing the developments made on India’s recent IP-related commitments and on engagement through the agreed work plan, as part of the 2015 Special 301 Review. A ‘wait and watch’ policy was adopted by the USTR after the 2014 Special 301 Report was published in April 2014, to observe and engage with the new government taking charge. The USTR also initiated an Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) of India in the fall of 2014 which evaluated the progress toward achieving meaningful, sustained and effective engagement on IP issues with India.

Pursuant to this, numerous interactions have taken place between the Indian government and the USTR in which India committed itself for developing strong IP regime, including institutionalizing high-level engagement on IP issues, to pursue a specific work program and to deepen cooperation and information exchange with the United States on IP-related issues under the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum(TPF).

The TPF sought to provide impetus to both countries for providing a transparent and predictable policy environment for fostering innovation.

While USA stressed that for attracting world class investments, India would need a stringent IPR regime; India maintained that its new IPR policy, soon to be drafted by recently constituted think tank, would stimulate innovation across all sectors.

Furthermore, USTR urged India to strengthen and deepen bilateral engagement on IP issues in the coming months and beyond.