India-US discuss visa, domestic content issues
New Delhi: Domestic issues like hike in visa fee and recent Indian regulations in solar tech policies were raised by India and the US respectively during the high level official meeting on Monday.
With the focus on concerns of various sections in their respective countries, Commerce Secretary SR Rao and Assistant US trade representative Demetrios Marantis discussed issues that were of interest to both the sides.
"Americans would raise issues like domestic content in some sectors in India.
India would raise issues such as visa fee. So we raise our respective issues and tried to see that we conveyed a better understanding of our perspective on either side. And we hope we were successful in doing so," Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Rajeev Kher said.
He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a Ficci function.
The US had raised visa fee in 2010 to fund its enhanced costs on securing border with Mexico under the Border Security Act. India has been protesting against the measure at different forums.
India is also considering to drag the US in WTO on the matter.
On the other hand, the US also time and again expresses its concern over certain Indian policies in renewable energy and clean technologies that it says inhibit investments by foreign firms, keen on collaboration with local companies.
For example, under the National Solar Mission, India requires that crystalline cells be manufactured in India, a move which is strongly opposed by the US solar industry.
According to reports, India has an ambitious target of generating 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022. The US is especially keen on taking a slice of this market.
"Both the sides brought up the issues that were of interest to both of them and we expressed our respective views," he added.
The bilateral trade between India and the US stood at about USD 60 billion in 2011-12.