New York, Sep 24(ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma held a bilateral meeting with the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ambassador Ron Kirk, on Thursday.
"The two ministers assessed the entire gamut of bilateral trade and commercial linkages, including the forthcoming Ministerial Trade Policy Forum, GSP Extension and bilateral Totalization Agreement," the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement today.
"Both Ministers agreed that the TPF has played an important role in promoting trade and investment cooperation between the two countries," it added.
Sharma further expressed his satisfaction at the progress made by the US Senate on Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) reauthorization and hoped for its early resolution by the US Congress.
On the Totalization Agreement, Sharma drew attention of the USTR to the regulatory and process related problems being faced by the Indian IT industry in obtaining H1B and L1 visas.
He drew attention to the estimates of the Indian industry that the uptake of H1B visa this year has been less than half of annual prescribed limit, and the rejection rates have gone up.
He also pointed to the need of the early signing of the India-U.S. Totalization Agreement.
He said that India has signed totalization agreements with several European countries, whose social security systems are different from the Indian system, and from the US system. (ANI)