In a letter sent today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) joined 15 U.S. business organizations in urging U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to use tomorrow’s U.S.–India Trade Policy Forum meeting in New Delhi to address longstanding bilateral trade irritants and new barriers imposed by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Trade Policy Forum was established in 2005 and last met in 2010.
In the letter, U.S. business groups representing all sectors of the U.S. economy welcome strides taken to resolve the stalled WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. However, they stress that concrete action is still needed on several longstanding and new trade barriers. The Trade Policy Forum comes amid mixed signals from the Indian government, which has declared India “open for business,” but recently raised tariffs and imposed burdensome new testing requirements on telecommunications products and, according to press reports, is also planning to implement new localization policies.
“The Trade Policy Forum is a critical opportunity for concrete action to level the playing field for U.S. products and exports in India,” said NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey. “While India’s new government has talked of opening its market for business, we have yet to see real results on a wide range of barriers.”
The letter outlined specific ongoing issues around current Indian policies, including high tariffs and discriminatory forced localization policies, burdensome requirements on information and communication technology products, the use of compulsory licensing on biopharmaceutical products, unnecessary additional criterion for the patentability of medicines and a lack of robust and enforceable copyrights.
Organizations signing the letter include the following:
- American Business Conference (ABC)
- American Foundry Society (AFS)
- Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
- Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
- California Manufacturers & Technology Association
- CropLife America
- Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)
- INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry
- Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
- National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
- National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
- Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
- Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce