Ahead of the India-US Trade Policy Forum meeting, an influential business advocacy group today asked the Trump Administration to press India to address issues that limit market access or undermine the competitiveness of US industries.
In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the Alliance for Fair Trade with India (AFTI) expressed concerns that "India is failing to provide adequate and effective protection of intellectual property (IP) rights and fair access to its markets."
India maintains and continues to propose significant IP and market access barriers, said the letter signed by Brian Pomper, AFTI executive director.
Specifically, the letter cites price controls, forced localisation, technical barriers to trade and intellectual property barriers as the issues of significant concern that US industries face in India.
"This week's Trade Policy Forum and Commercial Dialogue create opportunities to strengthen the bilateral US-India trade relationship and break down market barriers in India to boost FDI, innovation and market access and boost manufacturing jobs in both countries," said Linda Dempsey, vice president for International Economic Affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
"Manufacturers, however, want to see fair access to that market, and efforts to address priority issues such as price controls on innovative medical devices, continued challenges in protecting innovation and IP, forced localisation policies in high-value, innovative industries, and other barriers," Dempsey said.
The letter urges Lighthizer to make use of all bilateral dialogue and trade tools available to improve the US-India commercial relationship and implement concrete, tangible progress to address issues in India that limit market access or undermine the competitiveness of US industries.
"The innovation industry is encouraged by the government of India s positive action on software patentability and intellectual property rights awareness, as well as its pursuit of much-needed procedural reforms," said Patrick Kilbride, vice president of International Intellectual Property for the US Chamber of Commerce s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC).
"However, growing price controls on innovative US medical devices will not only limit quality and consumer choice, but they also pose a formidable barrier to entry for innovative products, in turn hurting bilateral trade ties," he warned.