US in talks with India on bilateral investment treaty


Washington : The United States says it is developing a new model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and had intensified its engagement with potential partners like India and China to conclude such a treaty with them.

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The US is in talks with a range of countries for bilateral investment treaties and US officials would soon travel to India to conclude one, US Trade Representative (USTR) told a Congressional hearing.

“We have, in fact, intensified our engagement, at the same time though, with important potential partners like India and China,” Kirk said.

The US, he said, had “built on the successful visits” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the US and President Barack Obama to India.

“And (we have) got India to agree to a more robust engagement. We had one session in India, in December. We are travelling to India within the next several weeks for the next meeting of BIT.”

“We’ve had over five sessions with China. We concluded a BIT with Rwanda, and we hope to again conclude the model BIT within the very near future that will allow us to go forward more aggressively,” Kirk said.

Earlier Congressman Wally Herger said that US should be pursuing BITs to help ensure that US investments abroad are protected from arbitrary government actions and discrimination, further paving the way for US exports to reach foreign markets.

“Almost 3,000 BITs have been concluded worldwide, yet the US is party to only about 40 of them,” he lamented noting the administration has announced no new plans for bilateral investment treaties since 2009.

“The existing negotiation on China, India and Mauritius Bilateral Investment Treaties have been on hold for over three years because the administration has not been able to conclude a review of the US model that you used to negotiate BIT,” Herger said.