WASHINGTON, D.C.– As a new US Congress and administration start to define policies, business leaders representing nearly all sectors of the U.S. economy sent a letter to congressional leadership, urging them to work for a more robust and reciprocal U.S.-India economic relationship, including the advancement of concrete and lasting policy reforms to address ongoing challenges in India that have negatively impacted U.S. industries and jobs, according to a statement by Alliance for Fair Trade With India.

The letter notes: “While there have been several steps in the right direction over the past two and a half years since Prime Minister Modi’s election, including foreign investment openings in a few sectors, fossil fuel and energy efficiency policy initiatives, efforts to address infrastructure project permitting and licensing challenges, and passage of legislation related to bankruptcy and tax reforms, concrete and lasting policy changes to address a number of other longstanding issues comprehensively remain elusive.”

West side view of the United States Capitol building.

Among the outstanding issues manufacturers face in India, the letter cites “forced localization measures; high tariffs, including some contrary to India’s WTO commitments; foreign ownership restrictions in a number of sectors, including Business to Consumer (B2C) retail; insufficient protection of intellectual property rights; long and inconsistent government approvals and licenses; and unique and onerous standards and testing procedures” that harm opportunities for manufacturers in the United States and undermine efforts to deepen the U.S.-India relationship.

The letter concludes: “The U.S. government, including Congress, should use all available channels to ensure fair play for businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs across the United States, and to support Indian efforts that align with these goals,” including strengthening dialogue channels and active use of appropriate trade enforcement tools.

Business organizations signing the letter are: Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), American Business Conference (ABC), American Chemistry Council (ACC), American Foundry Society (AFS), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), CropLife America, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), New Jersey Business & Industry Association, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB).

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