WASHINGTON, D.C.–Business leaders with the Alliance for Fair Trade with India (AFTI) applauded a letter from congressional trade leaders to President Donald Trump in advance of today’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the letter, leaders of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees urged President Trump to press for the elimination of trade and investment barriers in India that harm American businesses and workers.

The letter, signed by the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee (Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR)) and House Ways & Means Committee (Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Richard Neal (D-MA)), notes: “While Indian businesses continue to benefit from open U.S. markets, India has failed to eliminate, or even address concretely, multiple trade and investment barriers that have been the focus of recent bilateral and multilateral fora. At the same, India has imposed several new significant barriers that have harmed U.S. producers across all sectors of our economy, including services, manufacturing, and agriculture.”

Orrin Hatch

“Manufacturers want an opportunity to invest in and help develop India’s growing economy, but there are still significant tariff and trade barriers that are hampering manufacturers ability to do business in India,” said Linda Dempsey, Vice President for International Economic Affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers. “While increased high-level dialogues between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump and other government agencies are welcome, they must result in concrete reforms that resolve roadblocks fully in order to achieve real market access gains.”

The letter cites “high tariffs, inadequate protection of intellectual property rights, [and] inconsistent and nontransparent licensing and regulatory practices” in India as having a direct negative impact on American workers, businesses, and farmers and a major cause for the slow growth in bilateral U.S-India trade.

“From the halls of Congress to the Trump administration, U.S. leaders have placed an emphasis on ensuring American innovation is respected abroad,” said Patrick Kilbride, Vice President of International Intellectual Property for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC). “In India, that includes strengthening IP standards to address issues with patentability, computer-related inventions, and copyright infringement. Prime Minister Modi’s visit presents an opportunity to revisit these issues and renew India’s commitment to policies that will benefit both American and Indian innovators.”

Congressional leaders urged President Trump to work with Prime Minister Modi to eliminate barriers that hamper both countries’ global competitiveness and move forward on concrete improvements to our bilateral trade relationship.

IndUS Business Journal

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