BIT and BeyondAdvancing India-US Economic Relations

One of the overarching objectives of the ICRIER-Wadhwani Chair in India-US Policy Studies is to develop policy recommendations that advance India’s emergence as a major economy and a strong pillar of the international community in the 21st century. In order to boost trade and investment relations between India and the United States, consecutive sessions of the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries, held in July 2011 and June 2012, have strongly endorsed the early conclusion of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). In support of this objective, the Wadhwani Chairs at ICRIER and CSIS decided to undertake separate but co-ordinated research and make policy recommendations on a BIT, while also looking beyond to future initiatives such as an India-US FTA or CEPA. We owe a debt of gratitude to the CSIS-Wadhwani Chair for inspiring our eff orts by making an early start on their “BIT and Beyond” Report. Th e insights of Ambassador Karl Inderfurth and Visiting Fellow Matthew Stokes at the CSIS-Wadhwani India Chair provided a most useful and timely head start for this counterpart report of the ICRIER-Wadhwani US Chair. Th anks are due to Dr. Rahul Khullar, former Commerce Secretary, Government of India, for sharing his views on “India-US Economic Partnership: BIPA/BIT and Beyond” at ICRIER, which marked the initiation of our research eff orts on prospects for an India-US BIPA/BIT. Over the years, ICRIER has led research on India’s trade and investment policies and its “in-house” expertise was a great asset for our work on this report. With his vast experience in the Government and at the WTO, Prof. Anwarul Hoda contributed valuable guidance on India’s BIPAs and CEPAs. Th is was supplemented by advice from Professors Arpita Mukherjee and Nisha Taneja, both leading experts on India’s trade negotiations with several countries. Special thanks are due to my Research Assistant, Ms. Tincy Sara Solomon, for long hours of painstaking research, compilation of background material and preparation of statistical charts. Th anks are also due to our colleagues at the ICRIER-Wadhwani US Chair, Aman Raj Khanna and Ramakrishnan Potti, for their support during the preparation of this report. Raj Kumar Shahi, ICRIER’s IT specialist, assisted with the formatting of the contents.